January 23, 2018

Driving on Winter Roads

Winters can bring harsh and ever-changing weather conditions. Driving hazards such as limited visibility, black ice, avalanche-prone areas and snow removal equipment are just some that may be encountered on winter roads. Only travel in winter weather when necessary, leave enough time to safely reach your destination and plan your route to avoid snowy and icy areas and steep hills. Remove snow and ice from all vehicle windows, mirrors, lights, turn signals and license plates. Make sure you turn on headlights to see and be seen, and that you turn off cruise control. Try to avoid quick starts, stops and fast turns. Accelerate, brake and steer smoothly and gradually. When driving in the winter, one of the best things you can do is to reduce the speed you are driving. Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not winter road conditions. Do not slam on brakes. Apply steady pressure on ABS-equipped vehicles and pump the brakes if necessary on non-ABS vehicles. Keep additional distance from other vehicles. Typically this should be three seconds or three car lengths. When the weather or road conditions are less than ideal, this should be increased. Also be aware of the potential of black ice. As the temperatures warm up, or the sun melts some of the snow, it can then refreeze into the form of black ice. This is dangerous because you typically do not know it is there, until you are driving over it. Also remember to keep your fuel tank at least half full. This helps to ensure you have enough fuel to reach your destination. It is also recommended in order to prevent the fuel lines from freezing up. If you are in an accident or stranded, you will want as much fuel as possible so you can keep running your vehicle to stay warm.
December 29, 2017

Careful Driving this Winter is Important

  When driving in the winter, it is important to start your vehicle before you drive so you allow it the chance to warm up. As the temperatures freeze, it can lead to the possibility of issues with your vehicle. Freezing fuel lines can be a big problem if you fuel tank is low. This will also cause your vehicle to have a difficult start in the morning. During the winter months it is best to keep the tank at least half full. This can reduce the chance of condensation accumulating and freezing in tank and fuel lines. When you start the vehicle before driving, you can warm up the engine, as well as the interior of the vehicle. Also remember to be careful when driving. As roads become covered in snow, ice, or frost, more time and distance is needed in order to stop safely. Make sure to drive cautiously and pay attention to the road conditions. Driving slower can also help make the roads safer for you, as well as those around you traveling. Drive at a speed that you are comfortable at so that you can maintain control of your vehicle.   Winter can be hard on your vehicle, especially at night when the temperature gets even colder out. If your vehicle has been parked outside overnight, make sure to allow ample time for it to warm up before you drive it. Running a vehicle and engine that is cold and forced to operate at normal speeds may end up doing damage to it.   Try to avoid any unnecessary risks when driving. This can help benefit you and those around you by keeping everyone safe. The most important thing is to make sure you keep a good amount of distance between you and other vehicles when possible. Do not tailgate as you drive. If the roads or weather are in less than ideal condition, make sure to slow down so you can drive safely.  
December 4, 2017

Windshield Wiper Inspections are Needed

  One of the most neglected components on a vehicle are the wiper blades. Many blades are cracked, torn, split, or brittle. If the windshield wiper blades look like this, they should be replace as soon as possible. This is because they can no longer be efficient at clearing away the windshield. It is necessary to clear off any water, road debris, sleet, and snow from the windshield. Cold weather can affect the life of the windshield blades. Freezing temperatures can make the rubber portion of the blades hard and brittle. This can increase the likelihood that they will crack or split. The holders can also become clogged with ice and snow. This prevents the holder from distributing spring tension evenly over the blade. It can cause the blades to freeze up and leave streaks as it moves across the glass. Heavy usage of the windshield wiper blades can be hard on them as well. It can result in the blades wearing down and needing to be replaced. Anytime you notice the windshield wipers not being effective, they should be replaced as soon as possible.   The windshield wipers may need to be replaced if you notice a poor condition of the wiper arms and holders. This could allow sloppy wipers that will not effectively clear away the windshield. If you notice any issues with how the wipers are working, make sure to bring your vehicle in. We can inspect the windshield wipers to make sure they are in good condition and effective at cleaning the windshield of your vehicle.   Also remember to have windshield washer fluid in your vehicle, incase you need to add some to the reservoir. Without washer fluid, the wipers will not be able to efficient remove road grime and precipitation on the window. Also remember to bring the vehicle in at any issue you start to notice with the wipers. By having the wipers inspected, you can improve the visibility when you drive.
February 27, 2017

Why the Fuel Tank should be Half-Full

  You have probably heard how important it is to keep the fuel tank fuel, and at the very least, keep it half full. While some people think they are saving money by letting it get as low as possible before filling it up, you may actually be doing more harm than you realize. It is important to keep the fuel tank filled up as much as you can. That way your vehicle will be ready to go if you should need it in an emergency situation. Also, if you happen to get lost where gas stations are infrequent, you will be able to drive further with a full tank of fuel.   Emergencies   The most important reason to keep the fuel tank up is for emergency situations. You are less likely to be stranded someplace due to a lack of fuel. Also, you can benefit from a full fuel tank if you happen to be stuck in traffic for a long period of time. If you need to travel in the middle of the night for an emergency for yourself or someone else, you can be reassured there is enough fuel to get you to your destination or a gas station that is open.   Prevent Condensation   If you run your fuel near empty consistently, you may find yourself having to have more vehicle repairs more often. The reason for this is because of condensation and evaporation. Every time you open the fuel tank, gas vapors escape. When the fuel tank is mostly empty, there is also a lot of free space to collect water. When the vehicle is run near empty, the fuel has more room to create condensation. If the condensation gets into the fuel lines when the temperatures are cold out, it could cause freezing in the lines.   Protect Fuel Pump   Since gas is lighter than water, the water will get closer to the fuel pump. If water goes through the fuel pump first, it can result in repair bills that could have been prevented. Also, it will make for a hard start for your vehicle and cause the starter to wear out sooner. Water will wear on the fuel pump because the water does not lubricate the fuel pump like the fuel does. The water can also cause damage to the fuel injectors over time and frequency. This will all result to a larger repair bill. Keeping the fuel tank at least half full, especially in the winter, is a great way to help your vehicle be as efficient and reliable as possible.