Winter is Coming, How Do I Protect My Car?

Winter is quickly upon us and we’re betting you are in full holiday-preparation mode and are busy scoring some good deals on cold weather essentials, like warm clothes/hats/gloves, snow blowers and shovels.  However, there’s more to winter prep than planning holiday meals, Christmas shopping and filling stockings with cold weather gear.  Now is an important time to make sure your car is also well-equipped for the upcoming winter.  We’ve compiled a list of important ways to prepare and protect your car from harsh winter weather conditions.

KEEP YOUR CAR CLEAN

When snow salt build-up remains on a vehicle’s undercarriage and surface too long, it can lead to corrosion, rust damage and effect your car’s clear finish.  Your tires also take a beating during the sloshy and cold winter months.  Keeping your tires clean can help reduce overall wear and tear.  It may seem strange to suggest washing your car in the winter, but it is an important thing to do to protect your vehicle.  Your car’s undercarriage, exterior, tires, headlights, taillights, windshield, mirrors and exhaust system will thank you for braving the cold weather to keep your vehicle clean.  If it’s especially cold when you wash your car, be sure to use a warm, damp microfiber cloth to wipe it down after cleaning it.  This will help to prevent it from freezing in the cold temperatures.

SMART DRIVING

In the winter especially, it is critically important to give yourself extra space between your vehicle and the vehicles around you.  Snow and ice can greatly increase breaking distances.  In order to avoid common winter accidents, such as sliding into the car in front of you, hitting a concrete road barrier or spinning off the road into a ditch, be sure to maintain a safe driving speed and leave extra distance between vehicles.  Smart driving will save your car and yourself from expensive damages and injuries.

WINTER TIRES

Winter tires are also commonly referred to as snow tires.  No matter what you call them, it’s important to consider making the investment for a pair of winter “shoes” for your vehicle.  Winter tires are designed to increase traction, ice control and stopping power when you’re driving in slick and slippery conditions.  They are made with special rubber compounds and tread designs that allow the tires to maintain grip under extreme weather conditions.  Standard tires offer good traction for mild weather conditions, but don’t perform nearly as well in harsh winter precipitation as winter tires do.

AVOID DRIVING THROUGH LARGE PUDDLES & DEEP SNOW

While a large puddle may seem like no big deal, you never know what is lurking beneath that puddle.  Often times, puddles hide foreign objects and potholes, in addition to the collection of dirt, grime and excess snow salt.  Such dirt and salt can cause rust and corrosion issues to your car’s exterior.  Hitting a pothole can cause severe damage to your tire, rims, suspension, steering alignment, exhaust system and even your engine.  Similar to the risks of driving through large puddles, it is also very risky to drive through deep snow in the winter.  Packed snow can contain pockets of road salt and cause your car to rust.  Driving through deep snow can also damage your exhaust system and may even leave you stranded.  While driving, it’s best to avoid puddles and deep snow this winter.

AVOID STREET PARKING WHEN POSSIBLE

If at all possible, avoid parking on public streets this winter when you know it is going to snow.  Not only will this help prevent you from needing to dig your car out from being buried in mounds of snow, but it can also protect your car from damage.  When snow plow trucks go up and down streets removing snow, they also spray salt to help the snow and ice melt quickly.  When you park your vehicle on the street, you are making it a clear target for getting directly sprayed by the snow salt, causing damage.

CNM Auto Repair in Lancaster, PA is Here to Help!

If you’re looking for a Lancaster, PA mechanic to help get your car geared up for winter driving, look no more!  CNM Auto Repair can take care of all your car service needs.  Our trusted and trained auto repair mechanics can ensure your brakes and tires are in tip-top shape to keep you safe on the road this winter.  Schedule an appointment with us today or give us a call at (717) 397-1497 with any questions about our auto repair services.  We look forward to hearing from you soon and wish you a safe winter driving season!