Winter Driving Tips
We’ve already had our first brush with winter for the year, with several inches of snow falling over the last few weeks. While plows and crews armed with salt and sand can make quick work of clearing major roads, there are plenty of places where snow, ice, poor visibility, and traffic congestion can lead to big headaches for drivers. So what are some ways that you can help ensure that you – and your vehicle – will make it through to spring? Here are some easy winter driving tips to keep in mind until then!
1. Be prepared. Which would you rather have – a few minutes of prep time before you’re on the road, or hours and days of stress after an accident? Many collisions during winter are preventable, and can be attributed to factors that are directly within the driver’s control. Get a set of proper winter tires, as they are designed specifically to have better traction on snow and ice. Invest in a decent snow brush to keep in the vehicle, and be sure to clear off all windows, mirrors, and headlights, as well as built-up snow on horizontal surfaces, before leaving your parking spot. And just in case, don’t forget to keep emergency items like jumper cables, reflective triangles, a flashlight and tools, and a small shovel in your car or truck as well – not only will they help you get unstuck from heavy snow, but they will help other drivers avoid hitting you in poor conditions.
2. Drive carefully. You could be the world’s best driver, but you simply can’t account for everything that’s happening outside your vehicle! And winter magnifies these issues many times over. There may be 100 metres of pure ice beneath some blowing snow, or there could be an abandoned car or an emergency vehicle on the shoulder that you can’t see because of a blizzard. By taking the time to drive slowly and smoothly, planning well in advance of turns, and leaving enough space between you and the car ahead of you, the likelihood of an accident can plummet.
3. Know how to fix things if they go wrong. Many winter drivers are unaware of the correct actions to take in a bad situation, like during a skid or if their vehicle hydroplanes. Refresh your memory on how to deal with the most common winter problems, and if you find yourself facing one, it’s easier to not panic and know how to recover. For a skid, for example, turn into the direction of it and accelerate. And here’s a free tip: never use cruise control during a snowstorm or on icy roads, as it may try to speed up the vehicle if there’s a loss of traction on ice, leading to fishtailing or skidding.
4. Simply pay attention. No one factor is going to be more helpful than this. Be aware of what’s going on around you, and how the people nearby are reacting. Stay alert to possible problems and keep your eyes on the road. Remember, it’s much better to get home late than to come home with injuries and a wrecked vehicle!
Keep these hints in mind to have a less stressful time on the Calgary roads this winter. And if you need winter tires installed, maintenance work done, or a check-up performed, why not let us help you out? Call Lakeview Automotive at 403-242-1575, or simply use our easy online contact form, and we’ll have your car ready to roll again in no time. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Your Vehicle's Very Own Report Card
In school, at the end of every semester, you would get a report card with all your grades on it – it was easy to see which areas were good and which ones needed work, and to follow progress over the years. It’s a good system, and it works well – so we thought, why not do that for the vehicles that we work on, too?
We’d like to introduce our Digital Visual Vehicle Inspection, right here at Lakeview Automotive!
So much more than just a summary of work done, or a receipt for services rendered, this "Digital Report Card" is a full “score card” that helps keep track of all the systems on your vehicle, and the condition that they’re in. True maintenance starts before we ever get under the hood, and this is our way of helping you prepare and anticipate everything you’ll need to keep your car or truck running in optimal condition for years to come.
It starts before we even open up the hood. Our technicians each have their own tablets, with cameras and standardized templates, which allow them to take photos of everything – including the interior and exterior of a vehicle during an inspection, honing in on problem areas that may not be apparent at a first glance.
Next, we go through our checklist of all the parts, systems, and fluids, and give them a grade based on our assessment: green means everything is working properly and requires no further attention within the near future; yellow, while not urgent, means that there’s something to keep an eye on and look at next time; and red means that immediate action is needed to ensure proper operation of your vehicle.
Furthermore, we divide each of those up into sections in order to easily identify problem areas. With handy labels like “Under Hood”, “Under Car”, “Road Test”, and so on, you can quickly tell what parts of your car or truck need the most attention, and how much work it will take to get them back into working order. We include photos of everything we find – worn out parts, brake degradation, cracking belts, leaking oil, etc. – and add in our recommendations and notes on the side, for easy reference later on. It’s a full and accurate record of your vehicle at the time, top to bottom!
And the best part is, once these report cards are maintained over time, it’s much easier to tell what areas are wearing out and which ones are holding up. We can compare pictures, notes, and recommendations across months or years, which allows our technicians to make the most informed decisions about how to proceed. It also gives us a chance to pinpoint where problems are forming, and we can do preventative maintenance before a major, crippling issue occurs – saving you time, stress, and money.
So bring your vehicle down to Lakeview Automotive today for your Digital Report Card, and be proactive about your maintenance – your vehicle, and your wallet, will thank you. Give us a call at 403-242-1575 to learn about how we can help keep you on the road!