Rim Repair News

Winter Weather Driving Safety Tips

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The weather in North Carolina can fluctuate wildly during the winter. The mountains are no stranger to snow and ice, and even the coastal areas have been known to get the occasional wintry mix. That’s why, regardless of where you live, you should learn how to drive safely in North Carolina’s winter weather.

How you handle your vehicle in the snow can be the difference between a safe drive and one that ends in you having to get an estimate for rim repair, wheel straightening, or new factory rims. Fortunately, safe winter driving is easy if you follow these tips from the team at RGX Rim Repair.

Tips to Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter

There are a number of steps you can take to get yourself and your vehicle ready for winter before it even arrives. During the fall, make sure you:

 

  • Have your mechanic inspect your vehicle. They should check your battery as well as your hoses, belts, lights, and brakes.
  • Make sure your tires are in good shape. For the winter months, you’ll most likely need either all-season tires or snow tires. If you’re already using all-season tires, make sure the tread depth is at least 4/32 of an inch and adjust tire pressure as needed as the temperature drops. Whether you’re swapping to your winter tires or buying new all-seasons, RGX can help you get your tires mounted in time for winter.
  • Get your wipers ready. People use their wipers a lot more when the weather is icy or snowy. Before winter comes, replace old wiper blades and stock up on a de-icing wiper fluid that’s designed not to freeze.
  • Keep your gas tank full. Ensuring your car has plenty of gas will keep you prepared for travel emergencies, plus help reduce the risk of your gas line freezing in extreme cold.
  • Check your defrosters. Most people don’t think about their defrosters until it’s time to use them, which is exactly why it’s a good idea to make sure they’re working before the ice arrives.
  • Keep your rims clean. Before the first snow arrives, clean your rims and invest in a good wax or sealant to protect them from salt and other road-cleaning chemicals. Ceramic coating can also help protect your rims from the elements.

How to Drive in Snow and Ice

Driving in winter weather conditions is unlike anything else. It can’t be compared to driving in the rain and is certainly nothing like driving on dry, warm roads, which is why you need to take special precautions like:

 

  • Cleaning your car’s camera lenses and mirrors before driving.
  • Cleaning as much snow as possible off your roof and windows before driving.
  • Wearing your seatbelt at all times.
  • Avoiding parking on the street, as other cars could slide into you and cause cosmetic rim damage.
  • Refraining from using cruise control on wintery roads.
  • Accelerating and decelerating at a slower pace than normal.
  • Increasing the following distance between your car and the one in front of you.
  • Steering in the direction of a skid, in the event your car slides.
  • Avoiding stopping while traveling uphill.
  • Taking turns at a much slower speed than you normally would.
  • Trusting your anti-lock brakes to do their job, instead of pumping your brakes.
  • Refraining from driving in bad weather if you’re tired.
  • Wearing sunglasses to reduce the glare from snow and ice.
  • Refraining from using your cell phone in any capacity while driving.

Winter Weather Supplies for Your Vehicle

There’s always a chance you could get stuck in the snow or have to wait out a snowstorm in your vehicle. For these scenarios, it’s always better to be prepared for the worst by stocking your car with supplies to keep you safe and comfortable. Before winter begins, build an emergency box with the following snow supplies:

 

  • Shovel
  • Broom
  • Car stuck in winter snowIce scraper
  • A bag of sand/kitty litter
  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlights
  • Flares
  • Hand warmers
  • Blankets
  • Bottled water
  • Shelf-stable food
  • Batteries
  • Cell phone charger

What To Do If You Get Stuck in the Snow

Despite your best efforts, you may still find yourself stuck in the snow at some point. If you do, take the following steps:
 
1. Attempt to free your vehicle. If you can do so safely, use your shovel to move snow away from your tires. Give your car extra traction by putting sand, kitty litter, small rocks, or (in a pinch) floormats, in front of your tires. Put your vehicle in the lowest gear possible and gently accelerate forward.

2. Do not leave your car. If your efforts to get unstuck fail, remember that walking off into a snowstorm is almost never the right thing to do. Your vehicle is the safest and warmest place to wait for a snowstorm to end or a tow truck to arrive.

3. Make sure your car is visible. This is especially important if visibility is limited. Use flares and reflective signs to increase the odds that someone will stop to help. You can also tie some colored cloth to your antenna as a signal that you’re in distress.

4. Conserve gas. Staying warm is crucial in a snowstorm, but constantly idling your vehicle is a waste of gas. Try to alternate between having your car on and off and, if it is on, make sure you keep your tailpipe clean and clear to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

5. Be patient. Try to avoid stressing or overexerting yourself. Remember, even if you can’t free your vehicle, eventually someone will see you and stop, you’ll be able to get a tow truck, or the storm will end and you’ll be able to walk to get help.

Not only can RGX Rim Repair help fix any wheel damage you may suffer this winter, but our services make great holiday presents as well! Treat your car-loving friends and family members to custom wheels, brake caliper restoration, or any of our other rim repair services! Check another name off your holiday shopping list by giving us a call at 888-775-RIMS (7467) or stopping into one of our locations to find out what we can do for you.
 
 
 

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