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.

Hoses and Belts

Old, stiff and cracked belts and hoses will eventually fail, and it’s generally not convenient when they do. Blowing a hose at 70 degrees will certainly leave you stranded and probably needing a tow to your local garage, but your day will be much worse if it blows in the dead of winter while it’s raining or snowing. Pulling to the side of the road during inclement weather may leave you vulnerable to rear-end collisions, hypothermia, screaming children, and wet clothes.

Schedule a service visit and ask your local shop to check your car’s safety systems so you can hit the road with confidence and comfort. And tuck a fresh pair of socks, some warm clothes and some snacks in the truck before you forget.

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