Monday, December 22, 2014

Winter Driving Tips | Metro Ford Chicago IL

Severe weather can be both frightening and dangerous for automobile travel. Motorists should know the safety rules for dealing with winter road emergencies. We want to remind motorists to be cautious while driving in adverse weather. 

We recommend the following winter driving tips:
  • Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  • Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
  • Always look and steer where you want to go.
  • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.
Tips for long-distance winter trips:
  • Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
  • Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition.
  • Keep at least half a tank of gasoline in your vehicle at all times.
  • Pack a cellular telephone plus blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.
  • If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don’t try to walk in a severe storm. It’s easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
  • Don’t over exert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
  • Make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
  • Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps.
  • If possible run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and to conserve gasoline.
Tips for driving in the snow:
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
  • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
  • The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
  • Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
  • Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill as slowly as possible.
  • Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
  • Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.
Original post can be viewed here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Winterizing Your Vehicle | Metro Ford Chicago IL

Are you ready for the upcoming winter and what it will be offering? Before you rush to the store for the last gallon of milk and loaf of bread, you’ll want to be sure your car is ready to battle the elements. Follow these tips before venturing out into the winter wonderland.
  • Get a Tune-Up. Have your mechanic check your hoses, belts 
    and anti-freeze. A weakened hose or belt can break and leave you stranded, or a 
    weak solution of anti-freeze can ice up and damage your cooling system. 
  • Check Your Battery. Make sure your car’s battery connection 
    is clean, tight and corrosion-free. The battery should be securely mounted. If 
    the battery is three years old or more, have it tested and replace it if 
  • Check Your Heater and Defroster. If your heater isn’t 
    working, you’ll probably know. But what about front and rear defrosters? Before 
    you’re faced with a frosty windshield, turn your front and rear defrosters on 
    and off to make sure they’re working. 
  • Give Yourself a Brake. If you have the slightest concern 
    that something’s amiss with your brakes, get them inspected immediately. If you 
    have anti-lock brakes, you should avoid pumping the brakes if you begin to 
  • Have Your Exhaust System Checked. Ask your mechanic to 
    double check the exhaust system for leaks, which can emit dangerous carbon 
    monoxide into your car. If you become stuck in the snow and want to run the 
    engine and heater, make sure your tail pipe is clear of the snow and crack open 
    a window to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal. 
  • Fill up with Washer Fluid. Slush and mud splashed on a 
    windshield can spell danger for a winter driver. Make sure your washer fluid 
    reservoir is sufficiently full, and keep a spare jug in the trunk. 
  • Consider New Wiper Blades. Even if your windshield wiper blades 
    are in good condition, you might want to upgrade to a rubber coated snow blade 
    that can handle the extra weight of wet snow. They’re not expensive, and could 
    make your winter driving a lot safer in the long run. 
  • Take a Look at Your Tires. Your tires need to have adequate 
    tread with “grip” to propel you through the snow. 
  • Fill Her Up! One of the best driving tips for winter is to 
    keep your tank more than half full at all times. It will help you avoid 
    freezing in your fuel lines, and will keep you safer in winter weather 
If for any reason you are in need of assistance with any one of these safety precautions please give us a call and we will be happy to help you in any way we can. Please visit Metro Ford or schedule an appointment today!