January 27th, 2020 by

Driving in winter conditions can be very challenging and even dangerous if you do not change your driving style to suit the conditions. At Puklich Chevrolet in Bismarck, ND, we want all of our drivers to stay safe this winter. This is why we have put together this handy list of winter driving tips. Read on to learn some helpful tips for staying safe on the road this winter.

Get Winter Tires

It cannot be overstated how much safer driving on icy roads is with winter tires. Winter tires have much more traction in snow and ice. Even if there is not any snow and ice on the road, winter tires will have a lot more traction in very cold conditions. This is true when you compare winter tires to all-season tires, which are okay for climates that don’t get extreme winters. All-season tires won’t cut it for North Dakota winters, however. Needless to say, summer performance tires are out of the question.

Get an Oil Change

Extremely cold weather makes oil more viscous, which essentially means that it flows more slowly. This means that your engine will not be getting the lubrication it needs. If you are due for an oil change, make sure you get it before the weather starts to get very cold. Even fresh normal oil will help lubricate your engine. However, we have special automotive oil at our service center that is designed to flow properly even in the very cold winters we get up here in Bismarck, ND. This type of oil is good for more comfortable temperatures, as well, so you will not have to change it when the weather warms up.

Allow More Distance for Braking

Even with winter tires, your car will not get as much traction in winter weather. This leads to much longer braking distances. It is absolutely vital that you allow more distance for braking during the winter months, especially if there is snow or ice on the road. If you aren’t sure exactly how much space you should leave between your vehicle and the car in front, err on the side of caution. Eventually, you will start to get a feel for how long your vehicle needs to safely brake in winter conditions.

Pack an Ice Scraper

This may seem like common sense, but it’s shocking how many people don’t put an ice scraper in their vehicle for the winter months. If your windshield ices up and you don’t have an ice scraper, you may find yourself waiting inside the car with the heater running for a while till the ice melts. You should use your ice scraper whenever there is even the slightest bit of ice on your front windshield, your back windshield, or even the side windows. Even a little bit of ice will impair visibility and make driving much more dangerous.

Test & Replace Your Batter If Necessary

Winter weather is hard on your vehicle’s battery. Batteries aren’t as powerful in cold weather, and it takes more out of them to start up a car when the weather is below freezing. If your battery is on its last legs, this can lead to your car failing to start. If you want to avoid being stranded in the dead of winter, you should test your battery when it starts to get cold outside. If your battery is below the minimum benchmark, you should get it replaced at our service center. This holds true even if the battery is still starting your car, because it may not work when it gets really cold.

Putting These Winter Driving Tips into Practice

It can take some time and effort to actually put these tips into practice. This can be a pain at first, but you should keep in mind that you’ll be much safer if you take care to drive more safely this winter. After a few weeks, following the tips in this article will become second nature. You can refer to this article as a refresher when the next winter comes around. When it comes down to it, the most important thing you can do to stay safe when driving during the winter is to stay cautious and alert.

Posted in Safety Tips