November 20, 2012
Ok, so this is Rochester. It snows. Roads get icy. Cars crash. Unless this is your first Rochester winter, these aren't new facts. Anyone who has ever been in an accident will tell you that, through proper winter vehicle maintenance, along with a little much-needed common sense, it is possible to have an accident-free winter driving experience. Yes, even in Rochester.
But there's more to staying safe on the road than just safe and defensive driving. Let's take a look at a few other things to be mindful of, when driving in harsh or bitterly-cold Rochester winter weather.
Get Your Vehicle Winter-Ready
You've heard the term winterize before, right? Well, cars are undoubtedly among our most important and cherished earthly possessions. Come winter, they need the same TLC you'd give anything regarded with high importance. With cars, trucks, SUVs, and other road-faring vehicles, you'll want to make sure that all systems are in sound working order. Headlights, tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals should be inspected and replaced, if necessary. If you have snow tires or winter wheels, now is the time to have them installed.
Check the car's heater to make sure that it is functioning properly, and if you're due for an oil change, don’t delay in getting that knocked off your list.
Have a Roadside Survival Kit
No one likes to think about potentially becoming stranded in your car, especially during the winter. But it does happen. The most three essential parts of an automotive safety kit, are: food, shelter, and water.
As far as shelter goes, you'll need to have a couple extra blankets in your trunk, in order to remain warm in freezing or subzero weather. You should have at least one or two working flashlights and plenty of batteries, in addition to road flares. If you want to be extra prepared, you can keep a solar radio and/or cell phone charger in your kit. For food, keep enough calories on hand (crackers, protein bars, trail mix, jerky) to last you a few days. And of course, don’t forget about water. You should keep a minimum of one gallon (preferably more) of clean drinking water in your vehicle.
Get a Winter Vehicle Inspection
Having your car or truck in for a pre-winter inspection is, any way you look at it, just a smart idea. It gives your mechanic the opportunity to get in there and really look around for anything that might cause chaos down the road… literally. Winter inspections traditionally include a thorough and detailed inspection of the vehicle's fluid levels, headlights, tail lights and turn signals. Brakes are closely inspected for any potential cold weather-related problems, including full inspection of brake pads, calipers and rotors.
Rims and tires are visually inspected for tread ware, condition, and performance. Special attention is given to the radiator and cooling systems. All hoses, lines and connections are inspected and tested, in addition to coolant levels, thermostat and sensors. The exhaust system is inspected for any undetected cracks or leaks, and can be addressed if requested.
Complete Winter Vehicle Inspections in Rochester
One of the easiest ways to make sure that your car or truck is ready for another Rochester winter, is to have it professionally inspected. At Ridgeway Sunoco in Rochester NY, we perform routine visual inspections with all applicable services, as well as comprehensive winter vehicle inspections upon request. We also offer a number of winter maintenance specials, and stock an impressive selection of winter tires.
It's not too late to get your car looked at, to ensure a winter full of safe, drama-free driving. Give us a call or stop in and schedule an appointment for your winter inspection. We look forward to helping you stay safe on the road this winter. Happy holidays from your friends at Ridgeway Sunoco.