Driving in the Winter Weather


Keeping your vehicle well maintained is important for the overall condition of it. Schedule a maintenance check-up for the vehicle’s tires and tire pressure, battery, belts and hoses, radiator, oil, lights, brakes, exhaust system, heater, defroster, wipers and ignition system. Keep your gas tank sufficiently full, and at least half a tank is recommended.

In the winter, driving conditions such as rain, snow, and ice dramatically affect the braking distance of a vehicle. In order to stop safely, the vehicle’s wheels must maintain traction by remaining on contact with the road surface while rolling, referred to as rolling traction. When handling slippery winter roads, the keys to safety are slower speeds, gentler stops and turns, and increased following distances. It is recommended that drivers reduce their speed to half the posted speed limit or less under snowy road conditions.

Do not try to stretch for more miles from your tires during the winter months. If your tread depth is getting low, it can have serious effects on dry pavement, but those effects are multiplied in wet and snowy conditions. If you notice an issue, make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can check the tires for you. Tire pressure usually lowers itself in winter. Under-inflated tires can cause a car to react more slowly to steering. Every time the outside temperature drops ten degrees, the air pressure inside your tires goes down about one or two PSI. Check the tire pressure frequently during cold weather, adding enough air to keep them at recommended levels of inflation at all times. If you notice any issue with the tires, or how the vehicle handles, make sure to bring the vehicle in as soon as possible, so we can inspect it for you. This can help you to have a more reliable ride this winter.