Monthly Archives: February 2021

Drive Safely When Things Get Wet, Part 1

As the weather gets colder and wetter, there are a few things to consider to make sure your car or truck is safe and comfortable for winter driving. Tires The grooves, channels and slits in your tire’s tread are carefully engineered to keep a small section of rubber in close contact with the road and channel water away from that “contact patch.” In most passenger vehicles, the tread pattern is designed to give you predictable grip during cornering, braking and accelerating, reduce noise, and provide biting edges when traveling on icy or snowy roads.  These “all-season” tires make some compromises at the limit, but offer a comfortable, safe and long-wearing tire. Some performance cars, though, come equipped with summer tires, designed for maximum grip on dry roads and in temperate climates, but they aren’t as good in bad weather, and certainly not intended for a winter trip to Tahoe.  Take a look at the sidewall and you&rs ... read more

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Maintenance

Drive Safely When Things Get Wet, Part 2

As the weather gets colder and wetter, there are a few things to consider to make sure your car or truck is safe and comfortable for winter driving. Brakes Wet and slick roads increase stopping distances significantly, so you need to brake sooner, react more quickly, maintain longer following distances, and avoid abrupt steering and braking that might induce a skid. Make sure your brake pads and shoes are in good shape, with even wear and adequate thickness, and that your rotors are smooth and sound. Brake fluid absorbs moisture from the air, which accumulates and reduces braking performance at the limit (when it really matters), and increases corrosion of brake lines and other parts of your braking system. Be sure to change your brake fluid every two years, regardless of mileage, and keep the system in good working order. Air Conditioning Now that you’re using the heater again, you may not be thinking much about your A/C ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Drive Safely When Things Get Wet, Part 3

As the weather gets colder and wetter, there are a few things to consider to make sure your car or truck is safe and comfortable for winter driving. Windshield Chips and Cracks If you have a rock chip or small crack in your windshield, you may be able to repair the damage before it grows into a long crack.  Many auto insurance companies waive your deductible and pay for most or all of the repair if you fix rather than replace the windshield, so act quickly when the damage occurs.  When the weather dips near freezing, then warms later in the day, chips and cracks are more likely to worsen. And if you toss a bucket of hot water on your ice-cold windshield to clear the ice or snow, you might see a crack form immediately, just as you are heading off to work or the slopes. Like many things in auto repair, fix things before they fail or at the first sign of failure and you’ll often save money over the life of your car. ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance
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