Steer Clear Of Foul Weather Driving Dilemmas

Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2004

(NAPSA)-If you get cold feet when it comes to winter driving, you're not alone. According to AAA, the majority of the 21 million emergency service calls they receive every year are in the late fall and winter. Of those calls, 40 percent involve vehicles that wouldn't start and 34 percent are for major mechanical failures requiring towing.

"When it comes to driving in severe weather conditions, people need to winterize their automobiles. Preparation is the only way to steer clear of cold weather calamities on the road," says Lauren Fix, 20-year car care veteran. Fix together with Quaker State(r) has developed these winter preparation tips for your car:

Don't Get Tired-During the winter, your tires need extra traction to keep your car on the road. It's important to be sure you have adequate tire tread and in particularly cold climates drivers should consider investing in specially designed winter tires.

Get Charged Up-Winter's extreme cold can result in weakened car batteries. At zero degrees, a car's battery loses about 60 percent of its strength. Getting your battery tested now by a qualified mechanic will help you avoid a dead battery on a cold, snowy day.

Blended Is Better With Ice-Conventional motor oils tend to thicken and become sluggish in cold weather, making it harder for your engine to spin. If you drive in a particularly cold place, consider switching to Quaker State(r) Winter Synthetic Blend, designed to keep your motor oil from getting thick like maple syrup in freezing temperatures.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Flush Your Engines-Check your antifreeze before the temperature falls and flush your entire system if necessary. The same antifreeze that keeps your engine from boiling over in the summer will protect your engine coolant from freezing.

Stay Half Full-Keeping your gas tank at least half full during the winter will decrease the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing, which could hurt performance or cause your car to stall.

Tighten Your Belt-Making sure your car engine belts are tight and secure is an easy way to avoid a breakdown. You should also have a qualified mechanic examine the belt for signs of breakage.

See Your Way Through The Storm-Don't wait until it snows to find out your windshield wipers don't work. Change your wipers to winter blades to help you see better. Having a jacket over the wiper means it won't fill up with salt and snow and keep the blade on the windshield. Use "de-icer" windshield washer wiper fluid; it will stop refreeze or hazing during the cold days.

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