Monday, October 8, 2012

10 Tips for Winter Driving (brought to you by Goodyear) 
While we'd wager that 99.9 percent of our readership can't thread a cross-ice pass through traffic like Wayne Gretzky, we're not so sure about the Great One's credentials for winter driving (more so, say, than any other person growing up in the snow-belt . Still, Goodyear has teamed up with Gretzky to promote the performance advantages of winter tires in a new ad campaign. As part of this, Gretzky and J.O. Hunt, chief engineer for Goodyear tires, offer these 10 tips for winter driving.
1. Slow down. Wet, snowy, or icy roads offer less traction and make it harder to stop and turn.
2. Consider buying a set of winter tires. It's best to replace all four tires with winter tires because differences in tire size and wear can negatively affect a car's handling and stability.
3. Beware of bridges: Because bridges and overpasses are exposed to cold air both above and below, ice can form on them even when the roads on either side are free from ice.
4. If possible, carry a sack of sand or gravel in the trunk. On a rear-drive car, the added weight over the drive wheels will improve traction. And the sand or gravel can be used to help get you out if you become stuck.
5. Avoid sudden inputs on the steering wheel, brakes, or accelerator. Make gradual movements to avoid upsetting the balance of the car
6. The buildup of ice and mud on wheels and underneath your car can cause your wheels to become unbalanced, which can upset the ride and lead to unnecessary wear of your tires and suspension parts. Wash off any mud or ice as soon as possible.
7. If you're planning a long winter trip, pack extra blankets, water, food, and a few chemical-heating packs in case you get stranded. If you do get stuck, stay with your vehicle until help arrives.
8. Have your cooling system fully checked out, including coolant, hoses, belts, and water pump.
9. Maintain your tires at proper inflation to maximize their contact with the road. Pressure that's too high or low can cause unnecessary tire wear and reduce the size of the contact patch, making it less safe.
10. In snowy conditions, make sure your car's air intake is free from a buildup of snow. Many cars draw air from below the radiator; if this intake becomes clogged with snow, you car could overheat, even on a cold winter day.

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