Cold-Weather Driving Tips
Your Ford or Lincoln Dealership can help you with all of the following. Or, if you have the time, there are a few items you can perform yourself:
- Have your battery tested
- Get your brakes and transmission inspected
- Have your exhaust system checked
- Check your wipers and replace the blades if they are split, leave streaks or skip
- Make sure your headlamps and taillamps are working
- Examine your tires for any signs of wear
- Check to make sure your brake fluid, oil and power steering fluid reservoirs are full
- Add windshield washer fluid and make sure you have more on hand
- Consider snow tires if you expect to encounter a lot of snow or ice
Check the weather first. A little common sense can go a long way. Before you even venture out, listen to your local radio or TV station or check the Internet to see what weather and road conditions you should expect. If you can postpone your trip, it's always safer to wait out any potentially hazardous weather.
Keep your gas tank at least half full. Fuel gives added weight to the vehicle and this also helps ensure that you won't run out of fuel in adverse weather. It can also help keep ice crystals from forming inside your fuel line.
Keep a closer eye on your tire inflation. Your tire pressure can drop one pound per square inch for every 10°F drop in the outdoor temperature.
Clear your view. Be sure your windows are all free from snow, ice and frost. Don’t forget to scrape your sideview mirrors too.
Know your vehicle’s features. If your vehicle is equipped with Traction Control™, the feature will automatically detect and control your wheel spin to help maintain the stability of your vehicle in slippery conditions, such as snow and ice. If your vehicle is equipped with Four-Wheel Drive (4WD), you can give yourself extra traction in slippery conditions by shifting into 4WD. Consult your Owner Guide for details.
Give other vehicles extra space. Err on the side of caution when it comes to your speed. Accidents often happen when drivers travel too close or too fast for wintery conditions.
Know what to do if you start skidding. Sometimes skidding or sliding on icy, snow-covered roads is unavoidable. If your vehicle starts to skid, take your foot off the accelerator, gradually turn your vehicle in the direction you are skidding and gently apply steady pressure to your vehicle's brakes. Don’t pump them, as it may cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
Don’t spin your tires if you get stuck in the snow. This won’t help you regain traction and will only create a rut. Instead, use a shovel or ice scraper to remove any snow or ice from underneath the tires. Pour sand or gravel (or salt if you have it) under the drive wheel tires to help improve your traction. Then turn off your vehicle’s Traction Control™ (if equipped) and try accelerating gently both forward and in R (Reverse). If none of these techniques work, call for assistance.
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- Tips For Safe Do-It-Yourself Vehicle Maintenance
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