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The Extremes – How to Maintain Your Car in Both Severe Heat and Cold

The Extremes - How to Maintain Your Car in Both Severe Heat and ColdExtreme temperatures can cause undue stress on your vehicle. Keeping your car in a garage or covered space is a number one defense to protect it but that isn’t always possible. As an owner there are several other steps you can take to ensure your vehicle is maintained so you have a dependable means of transportation even in the most severe of weather conditions.

Oil Changes

Schedule your oil changes and keep that appointment! It can’t be stressed enough how important clean and recommended oil levels are for your car’s engine. Extreme temperatures can wreak havoc on your car’s engine and oil is a first offense to safeguarding it. In severe cold make sure you start your car and leave it running for 3 – 4 minutes before driving it. Warming the engine also warms the oil for smooth engine lubrication and brings the oil level to an acceptable standard.

Tire Pressure

High heat and sub-zero temperatures cause the pressure in your tires to fluctuate. Too much or too little pressure can cause tires to go flat. The recommended pressure is written on the side of your tires as PSI, which stands for pounds per square inch. Your local technician can do this for you or you can invest in a tire gauge to track the pressure yourself. Check all four tires and stay within the recommended PSI for optimum performance.

Windshield and Windows

If ice has formed on the windshield or it is covered with heavy snow, don’t use your wipers to try and scrape it off. Not only will the wipers become damaged, you could damage the motor that runs the wipers. The same with your side windows; electronic windows are controlled by tiny motors that can become damaged if you try to put them down when they are frozen shut or snow covered. Replacing a motor can be costly and inconvenient. Technology has made huge improvements in auto glass but it is still susceptible to stress caused by heat and cold. Chips and cracks are more apt to occur during extreme temperatures. Drive a safe distance from other vehicles that could toss stones or other debris at your car.

Battery

Batteries that are 4 – 5 years old could leave you stranded in both hot or cold whether. According to professional mechanics that work on Subaru Tribeca parts, newer model cars have many electronic components that draw the charge even when the car isn’t running. The heat can be very harsh on the car battery. Extremely high temperatures will cause your battery to corrode faster, and can even evaporate your battery fluid. If there’s any question about the battery, it is best to change your battery before you have no choice.

While you may not be able to avoid driving in severe weather, it is important to know the facts about how these extreme temperatures can damage your car. Most importantly, if you are leaving your car somewhere for a long period of time, try to make sure it is in favorable temperatures. Letting your car sit out in the cold for three weeks while you are on vacation, or putting it out in the hot driveway for a few days is not a good idea. If possible, find optimal storage space for your car in order to protect it from harsh temperatures, and you’ll save yourself a big headache as well as money in the future.

10 Tips For Driving In Fog Safely

 

Fog can be one of the most treacherous driving conditions and is unpredictable, from forming a thick blanket to drifting.

Fog can also hang above roads which may dip, so you can suddenly drive down a hill into clear air and then back up into fog again. All this can be extremely disorienting and knowing how to handle driving in fog without panicking is vital to staying safe behind the wheel.

The speed at which fog can descend can defy belief – and fog is not only the bane of motorists but also walkers and those at sea.

There are some tips you can follow to help you stay safe in your car in foggy weather.

  1. If weather reports have suggested conditions might be foggy, check before you leave in your car to see if any part of your journey might be fog bound – and then find a way round the fog using another route if possible.
  2. Ask your passengers to be lookout for cars ahead and parked cars or pedestrians in the road – this lets you concentrate on controlling the car.
  3. Distance is important when driving in fog, so leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the one in front – and never overtake in fog as it is impossible to judge oncoming traffic accurately.
  4. Headlights need to be working efficiently in fog, so never venture out into foggy conditions if your lights need attention. Make sure they are clean and aligned correctly as the beam will act as guidelines ahead when visibility is poor. If you have fog lights, use them – or use low beam lights if not. Driving with lights full on is not allowed in fog as the light can reflect back off dense fog.
  5. Stop and pull over if visibility ahead is non-existent, as there may be obstacles on the road you cannot see. Phone home or work and let them know where you are in case you need assistance later.
  6. Freezing fog can lead to black ice on the road, so take extra care and drive slowly. Do not set out in freezing fog if you are not experienced at driving in poor weather conditions.
  7. Always take with you a mobile phone, flask of coffee and food, blankets, warm clothing (including gloves and hat) and safety equipment like an ice scraper and First Aid Kit in case you get stuck in freezing fog.
  8. In freezing fog, stay with your car and call for help rather than leave it and set off alone to walk to help, as hypothermia can set in or you may be hit by another vehicle.
  9. Drive along close to the kerb as this can help guide you – but watch out for pedestrians, children and parked vehicles.
  10. If you do have a road accident in fog, be extra careful when you get out of your vehicle in case another driver is unable to see you. Pull the car over to the side of the road if possible and use hazard warning lights and a hazard warning sign behind your car.

If you were hit by another motorist in a road vehicle collision then you can claim compensation if it wasn’t your fault.