When our Ohio winter rolls around, you’re probably so grateful for the shelter of your car that you aren’t thinking about the toll winter takes on it. But, you’re not the only one suffering in the cold. The accumulation of snow and ice, the decreased visibility and the influx of holiday travelers on the road all present specific hazards to your car’s performance. Here’s what you can do ahead of time to prepare for the difficulties of driving in winter, and to prevent many of the most common problems:
1) Get a tire inspection. While it’s important to get your tires checked on a regular basis anyway, it’s particularly crucial as you enter the winter season to have an inspection done and to get any necessary tire repair in Norfolk taken care of. A tire that was in acceptable condition during a mild-weathered fall becomes a dangerous liability once the cold weather hits. Get your tire pressure checked to make sure you’ll get good driving performance on poor road conditions, and get your tires rotated to make sure they wear evenly and perform more consistently and safely.
2) Opt for better tires. Particularly if you drive a heavy-duty automobile or truck, it’s a good idea to replace your tires with winter or all-season tires, if only until spring. Old tires that don’t have enough tread or aren’t worn evenly can cause you to slide when turning, spin out when accelerating or even hydroplane off the road. Getting new tires, particularly the winter or all-season variety, will dramatically increase your traction and control of your car’s trajectory. As a bonus, they’ll also improve your gas mileage, since snowy roads mean your car has to work harder to go at a normal speed.
3) Get a brake inspection. While your tires might be in great shape, in the end, your brakes are going to be the only thing that keeps you from spinning out of control, or hitting someone else who is, on those days when the road conditions are worst. Even if they’re fairly new, brakes take drastic wear and tear every single time you use the car, so it’s important to check them out before you enter the most dangerous season. Have your brakes inspected to make sure the brake pads and shoes are in adequate shape to control your car and handle the brake pumping most drivers have to resort to in icy conditions. And if they don’t look up to it, get them replaced immediately.
4) Evaluate your wheel alignment. Many drivers put off getting their wheel alignment in Norfolk and just suffer through the poor handling, but if you do need it, the pre-winter season is the time to get it taken care of. That poor handling or pulling that may have been a nuisance in summer becomes exponentially more serious in winter. If you can’t handle your car perfectly, the likelihood of losing control on an icy road is significantly increased.
Don’t wait till the roads get bad to have your vehicle checked out. If you suspect you need wheel alignment or tire repair in Norfolk, take it to Hy-Tek Truck & Auto Center immediately. This preventative maintenance can save money, stress—and maybe even your life.