Happy February, Walt's Auto Service family! We want to touch on the importance of vehicle safety when snow is involved for this month's blog! If you plan to hit the slopes for a ski adventure or go mountain exploring in high snowy altitudes, this blog is for you!
The prep begins before the driving; always remember to check roadway conditions, including chain controls, before you leave the comfort of your home with Caltrans QuickMap. Did you know that 17% of all car crashes occur during the winter season? Prepare yourself by packing extra items & supplies. Excess water & snacks are a must, as well as a vehicle emergency kit, spare clothes, tools, flashlight, etc.
Check Engine Light On?
A check engine light can mean many things about the state of your vehicle, from a simple computer malfunction to something more serious. You do not want to head to a snowy area with this light on! It's not worth the risk. At Walt's Auto Service, we do much more than just fixing a check engine light. We can help you increase the longevity of your vehicle and make sure you get the best mileage out of it possible!
Check Those Lights!
When driving in snowy terrain, your visibility is limited & you can become blinded by reflections in the snow. Before heading to higher altitudes, it's vital to ensure all your lights are working correctly! A trained auto mechanic will look at your dashboard, your headlights, your interior lighting, and your signals to keep you safe on the road. Scheduling regular lighting systems and auto repair services from the auto mechanic specialists at Walt's Auto Service is a truly bright idea!
The "Shoes" of Your Vehicle
Make sure you are set up with the proper tires before going on a snowy adventure, but it's not just about the tires. When's the last time you checked your tire balance, repair, and rotation? Having all these systems checked allows you to set yourself up for success on harsher mountain roads. Your tires are like the shoes of your car. You wouldn't try to walk up a snowy mountain in your high school Vans that are patched up by duct tape, would you? Nor should you expect your vehicle to navigate the same without tires that have been adequately cared for. A wheel alignment service can help improve your tires' life regarding wheel alignment services, which means better mileage, better performance, and a better overall experience! Who wouldn't want that?
If you are a responsible vehicle owner, you know how important a regular auto repair maintenance schedule can be for the life and longevity of your vehicle. But did you know that your fuel injection systems need regular care and maintenance as well? Ensuring that your fuel injection system is clean and that the parts haven't worn out can help ensure your vehicle's overall performance (especially in the snow) and even impact your gas mileage!
Windshield Wipers - Your Saving Grace
Another crucial part of your vehicle when driving into the mountains is one's windshield wipers to clear the snow & slush so you can see. When's the last time you checked yours? When driving in mountain terrain, you experience more dirt, leaves, & other debris that can easily attach themselves to your blades & under the wipers themselves, causing damage. If your blads are "grinding" or creating a screeching noise when they drag across your windshield, that is a sign they need to be replaced before your next adventure.
Helpful Hint: You may need to add concentrated windshield washer fluid to the washer fluid reservoir to prevent an icy windshield. More information about this type of windshield washer fluid can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.
In the case of extreme mountain driving, chains are required.
According to the California Governments page, "During the winter months, motorists may encounter traction chain controls in the mountain areas within California." Drivers must stop and put on chains when highway signs indicate chains are required. You can be cited by the California Highway Patrol and fined if you don't. You usually have about a mile between "Chains Required" signs and the checkpoint to install your chains. For more detailed information on chain controls and chain installation, see their Chain Controls / Chain Installation page.
We hope you've found this blog information about our tips and tricks for driving in the snow & steps to take beforehand! Walt's Auto Service is the place to be when you need auto repair services and a great auto mechanic you can trust. When you need a steady hand and straight talk, bring your car to Walt's. Just book an appointment or give us a call. We are located at 340 Van Ness Ave Unit C, Torrance, CA 9050.
We look forward to seeing you soon!