February 24, 2016

Cold Weather Car Tips

An Arctic blast pummeled the Northeast this past Valentine’s Day weekend, bringing bitter cold to much of the Midwest and Southeast. Here’s a look at how dangerously low temperatures affect your car.

An Arctic blast pummeled the Northeast this past Valentine’s Day weekend, bringing bitter cold to much of the Midwest and Southeast. Here’s a look at how dangerously low temperatures affect your car.  

Battery. In freezing temperatures, your battery requires twice as much electrical current to get your car started. A half-dead battery can work fine in the summer, but it might leave you stranded once the weather gets cold.

Experts estimate that you should replace your battery every three to five years. When it’s freezing outside, you really don’t want to turn your key in the ignition and hear the telltale “click” — so make sure to get your battery tested regularly, along with your starting and charging systems.

Fluids. The cold thickens fluids, including your oil, coolant, power steering, brake and transmission fluids. If your oil is due for a change, consider buying a lower-viscosity type of oil meant for colder weather, and top off or refill the rest of your car’s fluids as needed.

Cold weather can also freeze windshield wiper fluid, which can be a problem when salt from the roads interferes with your visibility. You can buy a “winter blend” windshield wiper fluid to avoid this problem—these blends feature less water and more alcohol so they’re less likely to freeze.

Tires. According to Pep Boys, your tires can lose 1-2 PSI for every 10°F drop in temperature. Make sure to check your tire pressure regularly, and fill up according to the guidelines on the label inside the driver’s side door. In addition, if you live in a place that sees a lot of snow, it might be worth investing in winter tires, which provide better traction in icy conditions.

Idling. It might be tempting to let your car warm up before your morning commute, but if you leave it idling for more than a couple of minutes, you could be doing damage. Idling for too long causes buildup on your spark plugs, making your car less fuel-efficient. Prolonged idling also dilutes your oil with unburned fuel, which is harmful to your engine.

Drive safe, and stay warm!

–brought to you by Urgent.ly, America’s Leading On-Demand Roadside Assistance Service.

Many individuals and local authorities have already jumped on the opportunity to remind users to drive safely. There are even signs popping up on highways to encourage safer driving.

Luckily, there are tools out there to help the tech-obsessed (or the poke-obsessed) improve their driving. One of our favorites is an app called TrueMotion Family! The app analyzes your driving in order to provide you with a score - and insights as to how you drive. It's perfect for parents who want to monitor their teen drivers. The app gives parents the power to see where their kids drive, and produces a 'report card' on their driving in addition to an assessment of whether they were driving distracted (using their cell phone). Plus, families have access to roadside assistance on-demand from right within the TrueMotion app.

I don’t remember Ash, Misty, or Brock driving cars in their quest to be the very best, like no one ever was. And there aren’t vehicles any in PokemonGO. At Urgent.ly, we love the game and just like you, we’re prepared to travel across the land searching far and wide to catch 'em all, but we encourage you to put safety first in your travels! Remember that the power of Pokemon is awesome in augmented reality but automobiles are a powerful tool meant for use in the real world and require optimum focus to operate safely. In a world we must defend, you can start by driving safely, and catch and train ‘em all when you’re not operating a vehicle.

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