(BPT) - Harsh winter conditions can have crippling effects for drivers in locations often affected by snowy and icy weather during the cold months. Hauling the kids to hockey practice or even a quick trip to the grocery store could prove to be a difficult task, especially if a vehicle is not ready for challenging conditions that may come with the cold weather.
Just as consumers spend hours winterizing their homes, it is important to winterize your vehicle. Preserving your investment during the colder months of the year should be a top priority.
To make sure your vehicle is prepared for the winter months; here are some simple tips to help you arrive safely to your destination and not end up on the side of the road.
* Traction is key: With hazardous winter weather ahead, now is not the time to ignore your tires. Many vehicles need superior performing winter tires for optimum traction to navigate harsh winter conditions with confidence. The Goodyear Ultra Grip family of tires covers the winter driving needs of virtually every consumer. This line leverages innovative technology to help provide superior traction in challenging winter conditions. Winter driving experts such as the ILR Winter Driving School, located in Mount Albert, Ontario, Canada, choose Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT tires for superior performance in winter conditions.
* Feel the pressure: As temperatures change, so does tire pressure. Proper tire inflation is essential for increased automotive safety, optimum driving performance and even good fuel mileage. Tires should be inflated to the vehicle manufacturer recommendations printed on a placard on the driver's side door jamb or in the glove box, and should be checked at least monthly. Improper inflation can lead to premature or irregular tire wear and even reduce a vehicle's fuel efficiency by an average of 3.3 percent.
* Take the lead out of your foot:Remember, just because you have superior traction doesn't mean you can speed in snowy and icy conditions. With temperatures dropping, any precipitation can cause the roadway to become dangerously slick. When approaching intersections, stop signs, turns or any area where you have to decelerate, take your foot off the gas, apply the brakes gently and give yourself a cushion in case of slippery conditions. You can't get to your destination quickly if your car is off the road.
* A clean vehicle is a safe vehicle:Do not drive without removing snow from the entire vehicle. If snow is left on the hood, it can blow onto the windshield, obstructing your view and if left on the roof or tailgate, snow can fly off the car, especially at high speeds, hitting other cars and causing accidents and swerving. Driving with snow on your car, obstructing your vision, is dangerous.
* Protect your investment: Cars, trucks and SUVs are likely weathering the harsh conditions and corrosive elements associated with winter, including freezing rain, snow, ice, sand and salt. Keeping vehicles clean will help protect them from the chemicals and dirt that may attack the car's finish and undercarriage. Be sure to use quality cleaners and waxes specifically designed for handling a car's finish.
* Keep it flowing: Oil is the lifeblood of the engine, helping to keep it running efficiently and effectively. Not sure what oil to use? Defer to a professional or use the grade of motor oil recommended by the vehicle manufacturer to achieve optimum engine protection and fuel efficiency.
* Keep a kit: Keep a survival kit handy. A flashlight with fresh batteries, a blanket, water bottles, cellphone charger, jumper cables, flares, a 'HELP' sign, and a first aid kit will prepare you for emergency situations or unexpected breakdowns.
For more helpful car care advice or information on tires for cars, light trucks, SUVs and more, visit your local Goodyear retailer or go online to www.goodyear.com.