So now that everyone has had their fair share of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pie, the Winter season is upon us. Every year I see tons of accidents on the road that probably could have been easily avoided if drivers would have paid more attention or had their vehicles ready for the treacherous driving that is a regular accompaniment with the wet season. So here I am to give you guys 7 quick tips to surviving the dreary Winter season.
1. Check your windshield wipers.
You would kind of assume this one is genuinely common
sense, right? Far too many times do I see drivers on the road swerving around because their windshield wipers are shot. If they are streaking, then they need to be replaced. Obviously if your windshield wipers aren’t working too well, you aren’t going to be able to see in the rain. The Shop San Bruno can accommodate you as we stock new windshield wipers regularly and can install them for you too. Please call for pricing as different windshield wipers vary.
2. Check on your tires and alignment.
This one is also a common procedure that not enough people do regularly. Check your tires! You should regularly (atleast once a month) check your tire pressures to ensure that they are inflated properly and are at proper operating pressure. By checking them often, you will also be able to tell when/if you have a leak due to a puncture or incorrectly installed tire. You should also check how much tread life you have left. If your tires are worn down, you will have extremely diminished wet driving traction. This can spell disaster when put in a situation such as a torrential downpour or excessive high wind.
Upon inspecting your tires, maybe you should have the alignment inspected and/or serviced if deemed necessary. A misaligned vehicle is more likely to wear down tires or potentially lose control in wet driving situations. Here at The Shop, we regularly stock a variety of tires for just about any make and model vehicle, and we also perform alignments. Call to make an appointment today.
3. Inspect your brakes.
The last thing you want is to be traveling at speed and not
having any way to slow yourself down. Not only can you injure yourself, but it is an easy way to injure others. Have your brakes inspected to assure that you can safely drive in the rain and have the capability of slowing down. Bring your car in for a visual inspection and we can help service your braking needs. This includes pad and rotor replacement, all the way to complete fluid flushes.
4. Make sure that all of your lights are working.
We all know how difficult it can be driving at night; factor in the addition of rain, and driving becomes 10 times more difficult. You really need to make sure that all of your lights are in good working order before even leaving the driveway in a storm. Not only is it a law to have your headlights on when it is raining outside, but it is a precautionary factor that helps other motorists gauge what is around them. We stock bulbs for those of you with finicky lights that need replacing. We also perform HID installations for cars that want to convert their headlights over from halogen.
5. Know how to install chains for driving in the snow.
I know that many of us love going up to Tahoe for the Winter season to either snowboard, play in the snow, or, let’s face it, gamble while everyone else is doing the prior. You need to know how to install tire chains on your car because it is often a requirement for driving in the snow. I still remember my first time installing chains on my buddies Honda Accord (while the lazy a**holes slept in the back seat for the whole process) and how much of a learning experience it was for my next time up. It’s fairly straight-forward, but can easily be screwed up if you don’t know what you are doing. Be sure to bring a flashlight with you, a pair of thick gloves, and having a friend to help align the vehicle is always a plus. Also, if you are planning on heading up North this Winter season, buy the chains prior to your trip. You will save a lot of money buying them elsewhere, rather than spending $50 for a set when there’s no turning back and you absolutely need them.
6. Learn that AWD and 4WD won’t save you!
Yes, we all know that a 4WD truck or AWD Subaru make for great vehicles for snowy weather, but that doesn’t make you invincible to mother nature. It will help you get out of a jam and yes, you do not require installation of chains in the snow, but it is just as dangerous as any other vehicle in the snow. If you screw up, having a 4 wheel drivetrain won’t save you. Be careful out there.
7. Lastly, be cautious and slow down!
I see so many accidents happen in the rain and it’s often due to people that don’t seem to register the fact that the roads are wet! I’m sure many of you guys can agree with me that there are plenty of asshats on the road that weave in and out of traffic, speed, and tailgate others in the worst of driving conditions. When the road is wet, the vehicle takes longer to respond to the inputs of the driver. That is common sense when the roadways are slippery and visibility is diminished. So please, be safe everyone and drive cautiously and within your comfort level.
So there you have it, 7 quick tips to surviving this Winter season. Stay tuned for Christmas specials and promotions, happy motoring from everyone here at The Shop San Bruno.