Car Care Tips Every Woman Driver Should Know
Here at AskPatty, we receive thousands of auto-related questions from women looking for advice from our expert panel.
|Of these, about 85% are women with questions about car care – so it's clear that this is something women want to know about!|
This spring we're teaming up with Sears Auto Center to present a free Car Care Clinic to keep “Women on the Move”, so we're kicking things off with some great must-know car care tips. If you're looking for a little Car Care 101, read on – if you want to learn even more, get to a Sears Auto Center Car Care Clinic on May 21!
Be careful not to over correct and do not re-apply the gas until you're headed in the direction you actually want to go. Panicking and steering sharply into the turn will only reduce control.
If you're fishtailing or sliding, it means you're already going too fast. Reduce your speed so you won't need to worry about this! Most high-speed slides are difficult to correct successfully, but if you're caught off-guard and begin sliding, turn your wheels in the direction that the rear of your car is sliding. It helps to look with your eyes where you want the car to go, and turn the steering wheel in that direction. It can be easy to steer too far, causing the car to slide in the other direction. If this happens (called overcorrecting), you'll need to turn in the opposite direction. Read more about correcting a slide here. http://icyroadsafety.com/tips.shtml
Snow tires have special treads that cut through the snow and allow the vehicle to have better traction. They're also made of a more flexible type of rubber, so that they don't freeze and become hard in cold temperatures.
Many people think that all-season tires can deliver year-round performance, but if you live where you frequently encounter snow or ice, or if the temperature consistently hovers around freezing, all-season tires just won't cut it.
To help you select a winter tire that improves your safety in the snow, the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) designates winter tires that meet the severe snow standard with a new symbol. Only tires that have the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol (a snowflake inside a mountain) have been tested for use in severe snow conditions.
Nexen offers a selection of five winter tire styles designed to provide safe performance driving in treacherous winter conditions for all vehicles. All of them offer 36 months of free roadside assistance with tow and tire change, as well as a mileage warranty that varies depending on the model. Learn more about these models here.
Underinflated tires offer less traction, can reduce fuel mileage, can wear out prematurely, and most importantly suffer unnoticeable and irreparable damage that compromises their performance so check your tires and fill them to the vehicle manufacturer specifications listed in your manual or inside your vehicle's doorjamb. Reducing tire pressure to increase traction doesn't work: driving on under-inflated tires is dangerous any time of year.
Under normal circumstances, tires are legally required to be replaced when they are worn down to 2/32-inch of tread. However, to have adequate snow traction, a tire (even a winter tire) requires at least 6/32-inches of tread. You need more tread depth in snow because your tires must compress the snow in their grooves and release it as they roll. According to Tire Rack, if there isn't enough tread depth, the "bites" of snow your tires can take on each revolution will be so small that your traction will be reduced.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports tires that are under-inflated by more than 25 percent are three times more likely to be involved in a crash related to tire problems than a vehicle with proper inflation.
According to information shared by Schrader International from NHTSA and the U.S. Department of Energy, nearly 200,000 accidents are caused by tire-related issues each year, and 60 highway fatalities and 33,000 injuries are caused by under-inflated tires each year.
Always start your trip with your tires set to their proper pressure. Check tire pressure with a quality air pressure gauge and keep them filled to the vehicle’s manufacturer specifications listed in your manual or inside your vehicle's doorjamb. And don't forget to make sure your spare tire is also properly inflated: Before you leave for your trip, check its pressure, and make sure you have everything you need to install it in the event of a flat.
Watch for black ice, also known as “glare ice” or “clear ice” which is usually a transparent or invisible coating of ice on roadways, overpasses, bridges, and highly shaded, rural areas.
This thin ice may look similar to the color of the material below it and it can make your vehicle skid and lose control. Remember: if a road looks slick, there’s a good chance it is.
Be especially cautious when driving your car into shaded areas, and slow your vehicle down during your approach. If you're approaching a patch of ice, brake during your approach. Applying pressure to your brakes while on the ice will only throw you into a skid.
Forty-one percent of all weather-related car crashes on U.S. roads are due to conditions involving snow, sleet, ice, and slush, and we know severe weather can be both frightening and dangerous for automobile travel.
Make sure your headlights and taillights are all working properly.
You need to be able to see where you're going, but more importantly, others on the road need to be able to see YOU. When driving, use your headlights even at midday to help them. Having the headlights on also activates the taillights which makes your vehicle more visible from behind.
Bulbs dim quicker than you think, reducing visibility so you see less of what’s in front of you, so it’s important to upgrade before burnout. Always change headlight bulbs in pairs. Changing one at a time can cause an uneven field of vision that can be distracting to both the driver as well as oncoming traffic.
If you opt for winter tires, get a full set.
Do not mix tires: different tread patterns, size, and construction can compromise vehicle performance and safety. Mounting winter tires on the front of a front-wheel-drive car will make it prone to spinning out in the snow and plowing straight off on wet or dry roads. Putting winter tires only on the back of a rear-drive car will make the car difficult to turn in snow and more likely to spin in the dry.