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Winter Car Safety: What You Need to Know

Car Safety | Photo by Pexels


As temperatures hover around freezing and winter is in full swing, it is important to conduct vehicle preventative maintenance in order to protect yourself and those on the roads around you.  

Windshield wipers 

Replacing your windshield wipers is an easy and effective way to increase your visibility while driving this winter.  

Companies like Rain-X and TRICO provide top of the line windshield wiper blades for drivers at a cost-friendly rate. On average, new wiper blades can be purchased for less than $20 and drastically improve visibility while driving as well as the time it takes to clear snow and ice from your windshield before commuting. 

In addition to windshield wiper blades, Rain-X also provides drivers with winter windshield wiper fluid that melts snow and ice from the driver’s windshield without freezing and compromising visibility.  

Combining new wiper blades with winter wiper fluid is the most effective way to ensure visibility this winter season. 

Brakes 

No matter how seasoned of a driver you may be, icy roads are unforgiving.  

Checking vehicle brake pads is an absolute must during winter months, especially in midwestern states like Ohio where combinations of snowfall and icy roads are a yearly occurrence.  

Drivers noticing squealing while driving, shaking of the steering wheel while braking and/or excessive amounts of brake dust on the rim of the vehicle are all indicators that brake pad replacement needs to occur. 

Brake pads are most often sold in pairs and can be found online or in-store with prices varying from $30-$80 per set depending on brand name.  

A driver’s application of brakes is also very important in winter months. If losing control and beginning to slide, feather brakes instead of slamming on them. Feathering brakes gives a driver the best chance at gaining traction and regaining control of the vehicle.  

Tires 

Driving a vehicle in the winter season without proper tire tread is a potentially deadly combination that is easily avoidable.  

Shops such as Tire Discounters, Firestone Complete Auto Care and Grismer Tire & Auto Service all have Dayton locations that offer drivers winter tires at a fair price.  

Tire tread may be checked manually, by clearing snow from the tire and inspecting the depth of grooves in between the tread of the tire. If unable to insert a finger in between grooves, the tire needs to be replaced immediately.  

Snow and ice will get wedged into the tire and create an icy layer over the tire causing the car to slide and become uncontrollable.  

Fluids 

In addition to replacing brakes, tires and windshield wipers, checking the internal fluid levels of the vehicle is a preventative maintenance technique that can be life saving during winter months.  

Fluids to be checked and filled include transmission fluid, engine oil, antifreeze and brake fluid.  

All of these internal fluids are checked under the vehicle’s hood, and include indicators to let the driver know when fluid levels are at maximum or below minimum.  

If unsure of what fluids are being represented by the images located on fluid containers under the vehicle’s hood, check the vehicle’s driver manual and image descriptions will be given to indicate which image represents each fluid.  


Nicolas BenVenuto

News Editor