On the North Shore, winter driving can be a challenge! It is important that you prepare for snow, ice, and extreme cold weather conditions. Our Automotive courses teach, endorse, or recommend following the OSHA three P's principles: "PREPARE for the trip; PROTECT yourself; and PREVENT crashes on the road." Below are recommended tips and resources to help prepare you for cold weather driving:
Here are some additional tips from New Trier Automotives to get yourself and your car ready for cold weather:
- Go to an auto parts store, dealership, or oil change facility and have your battery tested. If your battery is over 2 years old, you should have it tested and checked. If it does not pass the test, replace it right away. Many places have free installation on site.
- When you start your car in the morning, turn off the radio, heating/cooling or anything electronic; this will ensure your car has everything it needs to start.
- Let your car warm up before driving it for a few minutes or do you drive slowly to help it warmup? There are different opinions on this topic-- please use this article to learn more about how long and if you should idle your vehicle.
- DO NOT CHARGE OR JUMP START FROZEN CAR BATTERIES. When a battery is "dead" the liquid inside, in theory, is pure water. This means that it will freeze and destroy the plates in the battery. If you try to charge the battery while frozen it may explode or cause severe damage to the car.
- Frozen doors and windows can be thawed using a hair drier. Do not pour hot or warm water on any frozen area because it could cause thermal shock and shatter the windows. Also, if your door is stuck, do not pull on the door using additional strength. By doing this, you may remove the weather stripping. If you want to prevent your door sticking you can apply a coat of Vaseline along the weather stripping. This will push any water out of the gaps and prevent sticking!
- Fill your gas tanks all the way with a name brand gas. If there is any moisture in the tank it will be displaced by the fresh gas.
- Bring blankets in case your car breaks down and you are exposed to dangerous temperatures. Also, prepare a cold weather kit that includes an extra hat, extra pair of gloves, tissues, ice scraper, small shovel, flashlight, Vaseline, warning cones, extra anti-freeze and windshield wiper fluid.