Gear Up for Winter Driving This Holiday Season

The weather outside may be frightful, but your commute doesn’t have to be — that is, if you take the proper steps to prepare your vehicle for winter weather. Be prepared with Firestone Complete Auto Care’s winter driving safety tips to help make sure you arrive home safely for the holidays.

•    Be proactive! Winter only magnifies existing problems like pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling. Make sure your vehicle is mechanically sound before the temperature dips and the streets get icy.

•    Make certain the engine is in peak condition. Also, check the cooling system. Coolant should be replaced per the vehicle manufacturer’s maintenance schedule.

•    Prepare for winter emergencies by using your trunk as a storage place for emergency items. Important items to have on hand are: a properly inflated spare tire, an ice scraper, windshield de-icer, a flashlight, a blanket, extra clothes, bottled water and non-perishable snacks. Don’t forget your cell phone’s car charger.

•    Minimize the possibility of control problems by putting winter tires on all four wheels. Ask your local Firestone Complete Auto Care technician about Bridgestone Blizzak tires; these tires are specially designed to improve your vehicle’s stability and handling in adverse winter driving conditions.

•    Check your tire pressure weekly when the weather turns cold. As the temperature outside drops, the air inside a tire contracts, dropping the tire’s air pressure. A tire’s PSI measurement can drop one pound for every 10-degree drop in temperature. Under-inflation will lessen the gripping action because the tire tread will not meet the road surface as it was designed to do.

•    Use common sense during adverse road conditions. Reduce your driving speed, and increase your following distance in hazardous winter weather.

•    If you get stuck in the snow, don’t spin your tires — this can overheat them and possibly cause damage. Use sand, gravel, kitty litter, an asphalt shingle or another gritty item to help your tires gain traction.

From Atlantic to Pacific, you can help make the traffic terrific by being proactive about winter driving safety and following these simple but crucial tips. Remember, there’s no place like home for the holidays, so make sure you arrive safely by taking the necessary precautions. Get more tips at www.firestonecompleteautocare.com.

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