Taking preventative steps for cold-weather driving

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 26, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Many people dread the arrival of the winter season on Dec. 22 because the season will promise many mornings of extremely cold weather and frost-covered windows making starting up more difficult.

Bob Taylor, president at Suffolk Tire Co. Inc. at 309 W. Washington St., said most cars today are fuel-injected; therefore, little time is needed and don’t require no more than 25 seconds to warm up before you are able to drive off.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;Older cars require a longer period of time. Keep your car in good condition and have tune-ups scheduled for every 30,000 to 60,000 miles but these figures also depend on vehicle manufacturing specifications,&uot; he said.

Nevertheless, no matter what you do, there may be times when you might become the victim of a highway incident or breakdown. If this occurs, it is good to know that based out of the VDOT Hampton Roads Smart Traffic Center, Freeway Incident Response Team drivers provide help to motorists and assistance to emergency responders during breakdowns and highway incidents; rendering traffic control around accident scenes.

Most of the incidents along the interstate system result from roadway debris, flat tires and drivers who run out of gas. Motorists are urged to keep their vehicles in good working order this season. However, STC and FIRT are asking that you fully check and winterize your vehicle before the wintry weather arrives.

Listed below are some important steps that you should take to winterize your vehicle.

— Check your brakes and tires

— Check your battery and ignition system

— Check your antifreeze and thermostat

— Check your windshield wipers and de-icing washer fluid

— Check your headlights, tail/brake lights, blinkers and emergency flashers

— Check your exhaust system, heater and defroster

— Check your oil

— Properly lubricate door locks that may be prone to freezing

It is important to know that any small problems you had with your car in good weather may become bigger problems in bad weather.

Prevention is the key