In New England weather, it’s easy to see why winter is one of the harshest times of year for your vehicle. Icy roads and a buildup of snow make up just a few of the many hazards that come with the colder temps – and there are many more factors that could leave your vehicle in need of bodywork this winter. To help you and your vehicle brave the colder months, we put together this guide to avoid body damage.
Driving tips for winter may sound like common sense, but they can be easy to forget. Avoid driving in snowstorms unless it’s absolutely necessary and drive slowly with windshield wipers and lights on if you do have to venture out in the snow. If you have a choice, leave the sports car or other two-wheel-drive vehicle at home and opt-to use a vehicle with all-wheel drive. Even if you do have all-wheel drive, DO NOT overestimate the power of your all-wheel-drive system.
No matter what you drive, when temperatures drop, you should accelerate and decelerate slowly and leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the next. Tailgating is even more dangerous when you need all the time you can get to stop safely.
Road Salt & Sand
While salt and sand can help melt ice and provide more traction when you need it most, these road maintenance products can corrode your paint and even cause your vehicle’s body to rust prematurely. Cleaning the salt off of your vehicle can be helpful, but applying wax can be your best defense against corrosion. If you do visit a car wash, look for one with an under-carriage spray to help prevent your frame from rusting.
Check Those Brakes
Get your brakes inspected to make sure all of the components are in good shape. As we mentioned earlier, you need all of the stopping ability you can get in winter conditions and worn brakes can be the difference between avoiding an accident and winding up in a collision.
Take Care of Your Tires
Not only does the cold cause tire pressure to drop, but it also causes the rubber to stiffen and sometimes crack. Make sure your tires are inflated properly to give you the best contact and handling possible and make sure your tire tread is in good shape. When testing tire treads, you can use the penny test to give yourself an idea of whether you need new tires. If you do need new tires, winter tires may very well be worth your while to give you some extra traction.
One major cause of body damage that is easy to miss is not a driving tip or maintenance tip – but practicing the art of smart parking. You won’t always get to pick the perfect spot, but being selective about your parking spots can go a long way in preventing damage. Avoid parking towards the bottom of icy hills on city streets or in parking lots and opt to park farther away from other cars whenever it is safe to do so. For a guide to safe parking, especially during the holidays, check out this other blog we wrote.
No plan to avoid damage is perfect. Be prepared to call Reliable Collision Repair.
At Reliable Collision Repair, we understand that no matter how careful drivers try to be, accidents will always happen. We also understand that when your vehicle needs repairs, even for a parking lot fender-bender, it can feel like your life has been turned upside down. That’s why we do everything we can to get you back on the road. From handling the appraisal to dealing with your insurance company and even providing rental vehicles or helping to tow your vehicle to our shop in some cases – we can help you at every step of the way.
As a class-A autobody shop, when you use Reliable Collision, you can rest assured that your vehicle is in good hands. If you give us a call at (401) 823-4770 or schedule an appointment with us through Carwise, we’ll be happy to help get your vehicle back on the road in tip-top shape.