By Tameka R. Calicutt Special Correspondent
February 5, 2014
XENIA — Local experts say preparing for winter weather conditions is essential in overall vehicular care. And there are suggested safety tips that will help drivers deal with what is considered one of the coldest winters we have had in years.
According to AAA’s Cindy Antrican, it is important to heed to warnings on the news and radio concerning traffic, delays, accidents and cancellations. With much concern, she stated “Stay out the pack!” When driving on the highway, she said, cars seem to bunch up and this consequently causes more accidents or pileups. Give the proper spacing to vehicles.
With so much possible vehicular trouble going on, there is no way possible for local police to cover all accident sites. Because of this, Antrican also recommended that individuals not leave their home without ”a winter kit,” this consists of a fully charged cellphone, a flashlight, kitty litter, a shovel, snacks, water, and other emergency items.
When it comes to the body of a vehicle, Antrican mentions that salt can become detrimental and, therefore, it is essential to wash and towel dry vehicles as soon as possible. This is especially true when the vehicle is left outside.
There is the myth that cars shouldn’t be washed in the winter but Antrican states, “that’s the furthest thing from the truth.”
Gary Norton of Alan Besco Cars and Trucks in Xenia, another local expert, mentions that one of the most important things to do to keep vehicles safe is to be prepared and “get them serviced.”
Getting them serviced, Norton said, will prevent a lot of unforeseen occurrences. These include the lack of fuel, an unplanned oil change, and low tire pressure. He said it is also important to keep the vehicle’s engine and cooling system safe by using the proper antifreeze and visiting a certified garage.
Norton concludes that during this time of the year we not only must we heat the cars but monitor them as well, as many vehicles are stolen while left idling in the driveway.
Heating up a car for five or 10 minutes should be enough to keep an engine purring in cold weather, Norton said.