FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Winter driving is tough on motorists and vehicles, and no one needs to tell drivers this winter's been a doozy in Fairfield County. To help make it through more impending weather, AAA Southern New England offers the following tips:
Charge!! Cold weather is tough on batteries. At zero degrees, a car’s battery loses about 60 percent of its strength. At a comparatively mild 32 degrees, a battery is 35 percent weaker. Keeping battery terminals clean helps, but a performance test performed by a qualified technician will help determine whether a car’s battery is strong enough for winter starts.
See and Be Seen: Driving with a snow-covered windshield, windows, side-view mirrors or lights invites a crash. Clear windows, mirrors and lights with an ice scraper, brush or spray de-icer. Make certain windshield wipers and defrosters are in good working order and that washer reservoirs are filled with no-freeze windshield washer fluid. Remember to clean snow off the roof of the vehicle.
Slippery When Wet: In temperatures at or just above 32 degrees, a thin layer of water can cover the ice, causing extremely slippery conditions. The distance needed to stop on ice at 32 degrees is twice as long as at zero degrees.
Keep Your Engine Cool: Make certain cooling system antifreeze is mixed with an equal portion of water for maximum protection.
Fast Solution: A squirt of de-icer spray is a quick method to overcome frozen door locks. Once thawed, lubricate the lock with silicone or lightweight oil – avoid penetrating oils.
Air It Out: Don’t let frigid temperatures tempt you into starting your car in a closed garage or idling your engine for long periods with the windows closed. Carbon monoxide, present in exhaust fumes, is almost impossible to detect and can be fatal when breathed in a confined area.
Finish Up: Road salt, slush and grime are especially hard on a car’s finish. To help prevent rust and paint damage, keep cars washed and waxed. A full or self-service car wash makes the job easier when temperatures are low.
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