Most people are unaware that the helpful winter driving practices they swear by can actually be wasting your time and/or money. Today, we will go over some popular winter driving tips that may be doing more harm than good.
Myth #1: You need to "warm-up" your car before driving. Many drivers get in the habit of idling their vehicle to "warm it up" before driving. Unfortunately, most cars nowadays do not need to go through minutes of idling to get the heat kicking. Instead of leaving your vehicle on for minutes, you only need up to 30 seconds to get the engine going. Additionally, leaving your car running for an extended period can waste money/gas, increase emissions, and be unnecessary for your motor.
Myth #2: Leave your tire pressure alone as deflated tires improve traction. Another common misconception is that deflating tires will help your car attain better traction on snowy or icy roads since the tires cover more ground. However, this is a very unsafe practice. Tires have a specific psi recommendation, and any deviations away from this range can affect your vehicle performance and cause your tires to wear out faster. We highly urge you to monitor your tires regularly and adjust the pressure accordingly.
Myth #3: Four-wheel drive vehicles are made to drive safely in the snow. It's true that four-wheel drive automobiles allow for better control in snowy conditions; however, your other areas, such as braking, can still be compromised. Careful driving is still a must to avoid accidents and breakdowns in the winter.
Myth #4: Use your parking brakes to help when your vehicle slides on ice/snow. Pulling the parking brake may seem logical in emergencies like skidding on ice. However, the e-brake can end up doing more harm. If it's snowing or icing outside, the odds are likely that the emergency brake could be frozen and ineffective. Additionally, using the parking brake can disengage your vehicle's ABS, making the situation more dangerous. If you cannot brake while sliding, remain calm and make steering a top priority to dodge hazards.
Being aware of safe driving practices in the winter can help you achieve an economical, relaxed, and safe winter driving season. The team at Pete's Auto Service would be glad to help you prepare your ride for the cold winter. For all your vehicle needs, please bring your car to the experts at our auto repair shop in Charlotte, NC!