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Safe Driving for the Winter Months

safe driving

 

 

Following safe driving tips will help you stay safe on the roads this winter. When you follow some recommended driving tips, you can help reduce the chance of an accident. The first is to make sure to slow down when you are on the roads in poor weather. If the weather is less than ideal, chances are the roads are less than ideal as well. Always drive a speed that you are comfortable driving at. This will help you to maintain control of your vehicle, and stay calm. Make sure that you do not have cruise control on either. Since the roads and weather will be poor, you will want to take cruise control off.

Safe driving on the roads

Safe driving also includes how much space you leave between you and the vehicle in front of you. Normally it should be about three car lengths. When weather and roads are poor, make sure to double or triple this amount. That way you will have enough time to stop or adjust your driving. If the vehicle in front of you slams on the brakes, you will want to have enough space in front of you to stop as well. Make sure that the tires and brakes are inspected regularly for your vehicle. Doing so will help improve the safety and reliability as you drive.

 

Another way to help stay safe is to bring your vehicle in on a regular basis for proper inspections. This way we can give it a bumper to bumper inspection for any issues that might be occurring. If there is an issue, it is always best to have it repaired as soon as possible. Doing so will help prevent further damage happening to your vehicle. If you notice anything odd, always make sure to contact us as soon as possible. This will help your vehicle to be reliable on the roads.

Repairing Parts at the first sign of an Issue

 

By repairing parts and components for your vehicle, you can help save money. When you repair them at the first sign, you can avoid further issues and damage in the long run. You will want to make sure to follow the recommend schedule for maintenance inspections. If you are not sure when this should be, contact us. We will be able to advise you on a schedule that is best for your vehicle. By following this, we will do regular bumper to bumper inspections. If there is an issue that starts to form, we can notice it early on. This will help prevent further problems.

Repairing the Brakes

If the brakes start showing signs of wear and tear, you will want to have them repaired immediately. You may hear odd noises or high pitched sounds when applying the brakes. Over time and use, the brake pads will start to wear. As these wear down, then the brake rotors will become worn as well. This will result in metal on metal as the brakes are applied. You will want to schedule an appointment to have the brakes inspected. The brake fluid should also be checked to ensure it is at the correct amount.

 

Repairing or replacing parts are important to help keep the vehicle operating efficiently. If you do so at the first sign, you can help save time, money, and stress in the long run. When there is an odd noise or sound, it is always best to schedule an appointment. That way we can fully inspect the vehicle for what the issue is. Even if you do not think this problem is severe, it is always best to check. Remember to check the air pressure in the tires to make sure that they are properly inflated. If a tire is low, you will want to fill it to the correct air pressure as soon as possible. By checking the various parts, you can help have a safe and reliable vehicle.

Removing Snow and Ice from your Vehicle

removing

 

 

When removing the snow, ice, and frost from your vehicle, make sure that you clear all of it. Remove it from the windshield and the rear window of your vehicle. Doing so will help you to maintain visibility all around you. You will also want to remember to clear off each side window of your vehicle. If there is a build up of snow, you will not have the best visibility possible. Also, the snow could start to melt and eventually form to ice. This will make it even more difficult to remove from the windows.

Removing Snow from the Car

In the winter, make sure to start your car and turn on the defrost. This will help to warm up the interior of your vehicle and windshield. As it warms up, your visibility will improve. Warming up the vehicle will help make scraping ice and snow from the windshield easier as well. Always remember to clear off the entire vehicle. This should include the roof, hood, and trunk. If there are any chunks of ice or snow, they could fly off and hit vehicles around you. So to help improve the safety of those around you, always make sure to remove the snow.

 

You should also check the tires in the winter. If there are snow chunks by the tires, kick and remove those. This can help prevent uneven wear on the tires of your vehicle. If the tires lose air, always make sure that you bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you. The tires should be free from any damage or issues to them. If the tread wear is wearing down, you will want a new set of tires. The tread is important because it will help the tires grip the surface of the road when you drive. Anytime there is an issue, you will want to contact us. This will help get you back to a safe and reliable drive.

Heater Care for your Vehicle

heater

 

The heater of your vehicle should always be running the best that it can be. If there is ever any sign or problem, make sure that you bring the vehicle in as soon as you can. This way we can inspect it and notice what the source of the problem might be for it. If there are odd noises or sounds that it makes, this should be checked immediately. It could mean any of the gears or pats are starting to show wear. Even if you think it is a slight problem, it should be checked. This helps prevent further issues in the long run.

Check the Heater

Check the heater of your vehicle regularly as well. If it starts to blow cold air, it could mean that there is a further issue that needs to be addressed. The vents could have a clog or build up of debris that blocks the airflow of it. You will want to always make sure that the heater is blowing as warm of air as possible. Doing so will help keep you and your passengers warm and comfortable. This will also help to have an enjoyable trip as well.

 

You will also want the heater to be working correctly so it can warm up and defrost the inside of your windshield. When it is cold out, it is important to start the vehicle, and turn on the defrost. This can also help to make the ice and snow easier to clear off. Without a properly working heater, this will not be accomplished. It will also mean that you will have poor visibility when driving. The overall affect is that your safety is decreased when driving as well. So if you notice anything with the heater not working properly, contact us. That way you can get back to an enjoyable driving experience.

Frozen Doors and How to Open them

 

Winter means frozen doors may happen to your vehicle. You will want to try and open the door carefully, so you do not do any further damage to it. Make sure to be aware of how the door handle is. If it is frozen shut, gently try and loosen the handle. If it is frozen and you pull too hard on it, you could break it. After the handle is free of ice, then you will want to gently pull it to open the door. If the door is still frozen, then you can start to work at loosening that as well. You will want to be carefully with pull that as well, so you do not damage the door.

Frozen Doors for the car

By pushing gently and pulling back and forth, you will be able loosen the grip the door frame has with the vehicle. You may have to hit slightly with your fist to loosen up the grip as well. Another tip is that you can place your fingers along the edge of the frame and help pry it open as well. This extra force will help to get the door opened as well.

 

You can use a de-icer that can help unlock and locks, doors, or anything that may be frozen shut. After this is applied, wait a few minutes, then try opening the door again. Never pull with full force or yank the door, as this can lead to it breaking and having damage done to it. If the driver’s door is frozen shut, then try the other door or doors of the vehicle. Sometimes, one of those may be easier to open. If one of those opens, then you can try to open the driver’s door from the inside. Sometimes that extra push from the inside will help on loosening the door as well.

Jump Starting your Vehicle

For jump-starting the battery of your vehicle, you will want to make sure to know the proper procedure. You will want to have long jumper cables that are sure to reach a good distance. That way you can jump-start the car in case you cannot part the operating vehicle right next to the dead battery vehicle. You can always contact us as well to see what the proper cables should be.

Jumpstart your car

When connecting the jumper cables, it is important to make sure to follow and read the owner’s manual. Doing so will help you be aware of the proper order to hook up the jumper cables in. Also, look at the condition that your battery is in. If it is cracked, corroded, or visibly damaged, do not try to jump-start it. This can cause issues and damage to the battery, as well as the vehicle. You will want to make sure that the jumper cable ends do not touch. This is most important when they are connected to the battery, so it is just a good habit to practice this all the time.

You should start off by connecting the red positive clamp to the terminal of the dead battery. This should be clamped onto the positive terminal. Then connect the other red clamp to the battery that is operating. You will then want to connect the black clamp to the negative terminal of the operating battery. The last, but most important thing is to connect the other black clamp to a part of the dead vehicle that is unpainted.

After you get the vehicle jump-started, remove the jumper cables in the reverse order of which you put them on in. This way you can prevent damage to the battery or an explosion from happening. If you are not sure how to properly jumpstart or remove the cables from your vehicle, always remember to check the manual or contact us.

Weather and your Visibility when Driving

The weather you drive in can affect your visibility. Sometimes you might have rain, or sleet, while other times you may have snow or even whiteout conditions. You will want to stay as safe as possible on the road. Make sure to check the weather and road conditions before you drive. Doing so will help you to prepare for what the weather conditions might be. If the weather is less than ideal, or suppose to be worse, make sure to allow enough time for you to reach your destination. This will help prevent you from driving too fast or speeding as well. If the roads are wet or slick, make sure to slow down and drive at a speed that you are comfortable at.

Winter weather and visibility

During the winter, make sure that the windshield wipers are in the best condition. If there are rips, tears, or any damage to the blades or wipers, make sure that they are replaced. Blades that are in poor condition can lead to an issue when clearing the windshield. It may leave streak or smear marks on them. If you notice they vibrate against the windshield, they will need to be replaced as well. Make sure that they are securely installed, that way they will not come loose and leave you without a wiper. You can bring the vehicle in and we can replace the windshield wipers for you.

 

Also, remember to check all the lights of your vehicle. The headlights should be in the best condition and bright. If they are dull, you will not be able to see the road in front of you as you drive. Also, your safety will decrease and others will not see you driving either. The blinkers and taillights should be inspected as well. If you notice a blinker is no longer working, you will want to have the fuse replaced. This is important because those around you will need to see what direction you plan on turning when you drive.

 

Block Heaters for your Vehicle this Winter

block

Block heaters can be beneficial for your vehicle, especially if you park outside in the winter. During the colder months, the temperature will drop. This can result in your battery being affected. It will also lead to the car turning over or starting slower than it otherwise should. You will want to make sure that the vehicle is inspected regularly. Along with this, you will want to have the battery checked as well. We can test the battery and the cold cranking amps of it. Doing so will allow us to know what the condition the battery is in. If the battery is old or not holding a charge well, a new battery is beneficial.

Benefits for your Vehicle

Parking in a garage provides several benefits for your vehicle. It will most importantly help keep the battery warm so the vehicle can start with ease. If you cannot part the vehicle inside, then think about investing in a block heater for your car. This will plug into the front of the car near the grill, and help keep the vehicle warm under the hood. Doing so will then help the vehicle to start easier as well in the winter. If you are not sure what block heater to purchase, or if your vehicle is right for one, you can contact us.

 

Besides checking the battery and how the vehicle starts, also remember to check all the fluid levels of the vehicle. Doing so will help the car run efficiently. If a fluid level is low, make sure to replace it and top it off. This will help your vehicle to be safe and reliable when you are on the road this winter. Also remember to bring your vehicle in for regular oil changes so that the engine can continue to operate smoothly. If you are not sure when the oil should be changed, make sure to contact us.

Taking Care of the Vehicle in the Winter

Proper care of the vehicle should always include regular maintenance and inspections. If you have not had the vehicle in for regular appointments, make sure to contact us to set up a time. Having the battery tested and inspected in the winter is important. Proper care of the battery can help lead to an efficient operating vehicle in the long run. If you are not sure what condition the battery is in, schedule a regular maintenance inspection. We can test and inspect the battery for the vehicle.

Care of the Battery

You will want to make sure to visually inspect the battery for your vehicle. Check to make sure the battery is properly secured. If you see a build-up of dirt, dust, and grime on the battery, this can be an issue. It can lead to the battery failing or causing issues in the long run. You will want to make sure that you properly clean the battery so that it is in the best condition possible. If you are not sure how to clean it, make sure to schedule an appointment with us. We can clean and test the battery for you. We will also be able to do a full inspection to ensure the battery is efficient.

 

The terminals of the battery are important to inspect as well. You will want to make sure that they are clean and secure. If you notice one is loose, make sure this is taken care of as soon as possible. Doing this will help make sure the vehicle will be able to start and operate when you need it to. Another sign of a poor battery is if the vehicle is having a difficult time starting. You will want to bring it in so we can inspect the battery, starter, and alternator for you.

Proper Air Pressure for your Vehicle this Winter

air

 

The air pressure for the tires should be inspected on a regular basis. The best way is to check the owner’s manual for the vehicle. You can also see how much air pressure you need by checking the inside door jamb of the driver’s door. If you are still not sure, you can always contact us. We can advise you on the appropriate amount of air needed, and we can inspect the tires as well. By bringing your vehicle in regularly for proper inspections, you can help to ensure everything is operating correctly and efficiently for it.

Air Pressure checks

You will want to check the air pressure, but timing is important. Do not check the air pressure right after you have drove. When you drive, the tires expand because they warm up. This will then result in a false reading for the air pressure. You will want to make sure that the vehicle has had adequate time to be parked. That way you will have the best air pressure reading possible. If you notice that a tire is getting low more often, make sure to schedule an appointment with us. This way they will always be in the best condition.

 

You will also want to check to make sure that the tires are in the best condition before driving. Check the tread wear and any other issues. If the tread is not even around the tire, having the tires rotated or aligned is recommended. Doing so will help expand the life of them. Tires that are not properly inspected can wear out much sooner than they otherwise should. This can be costly in the long run. You will also want to make sure that the tires are aligned properly. If they are not, the vehicle will have to work harder to have this corrected. Poorly aligned tires can cause further wear and tear on the vehicle as well. So always make sure to bring the vehicle in for an inspection.

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Carlson auto?

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Cottage Grove

651-458-5158
8799 E Point Douglas Rd S
Monday-Friday: 8AM-6PM

Maplewood

651-578-0885
275 Century Ave N
Monday-Friday: 8AM-6PM

“Great service and friendly staff. They fixed my car at a very reasonable cost. It was ready when they said it would be. I highly recommend this shop. -Susan B.”

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