Car Experts Debunk Bad Winter Car Advice
It’s cold. There’s snow. There’s ice. You want to stay in bed all day. And it’s not going to be fun to drive. Still, you need to get up and about for the day. That means driving on streets, roads, and highways while dealing with the worst of winter weather. You need to be very safe while driving. Unfortunately, there’s plenty of bad car advice out there that people still follow.
With the aid of car experts, we here at J. Bertolet Volkswagen debunk some of the worst winter car myths out there. Make to heed our warning. Following these myths can at their best be worthless, and at their worst be incredibly costly and dangerous! Here are the very worst of winter driving myths and why you need to avoid their bad advice.
1. Your Car + All-Wheel Drive = Unbeatable in the Snow.
This myth also applies to how many drivers feel about SUVs and snow tires. Any one of those, including AWD, makes drivers very overconfident on snowy roads. This in turns causes them to take more risks which can be very dangerous! SUVs are better off-road, snow/winter/all-season tires help cars handle better in the snow, and All-Wheel Drive improves traction on slippery roads. However, this doesn’t mean Mother Nature can’t beat your vehicle. Be careful, and both speed up and brake very slowly in winter conditions.
2. It’s Ok to Pass Drivers on Winter Roads
First off, don’t do this. When roads aren’t covered in mush and visibility is terrible, this is a bad idea. Under those conditions, this can be potentially lethal and asking for an accident. It’s incredibly easy to lose control of your car when switching lanes and speeding up. Additionally, terrible conditions make it harder for other drivers to spot you. Finally, even more so, never ever try passing a working snowplow. Attempting to do so will just get your car covered in heavy snow, mucking up your wipers and blinding you.
3. Brake Normally or Use Your Parking Brake
Again, no. First off, many people believe that integrated safety features, such as ABS (Anti-Lock Braking), allows them to brake as they normally would on winter roads. This is wrong as ABS won’t prevent your car from skidding, taking control away from you. Secondly, a parking brake can be useful in emergency situations. However, the parking brake can cancel out ABS and cause you to complete skid out of control when it can’t gain traction.
4. Start Your Car Early to Warm It Up
This seems like common sense. Who wants to drive around in a freezing car? However, there are a few things people are ignoring with this line of thinking. Your car heats up its engine when you’re driving. Sitting still in the cold, the engine doesn’t get a chance to generate very much heat. This means your engine is running cold and wasting gas. Additionally, an engine that is running while cold can be damaging to the health of your car. It’s best to instead start driving right away.
5. Underinflate Your Tires to Get Better Traction on Ice
We’re unsure of the rationale behind this driving myth, but suffice it to say that it’s not true. Underinflated tires will have the exact same traction as normal tires. Or, possibly even worse traction control. Furthermore, underinflated tires increase tread wear. When there’s more tread wear you increase the risk of a tire blow out. Imagine having a tire blow out on a winter road. That’s not good.
Stay Safe Driving in Winter
Winter can be a dangerous time when driving. Make sure you stay as safe as possible when driving on snow and ice through raining flurries. You can learn more vehicle tips and tricks here at J. Bertolet Volkswagen. We’ve also got plenty of new and pre-owned VW Vehicles. Come get a reliable vehicle to handle the winter!