Summer Driving Tips

Summer driving tips

Summer driving tips

With summer road trip season about to begin, the car safety blog Carwise has released a list of summer driving tips to help keep you, your family and vehicle safe for your summer vacation.

It won’t surprise you to hear that more Americans travel during the summer months than any other time of the year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 90% of families will use their car to go on a trip, even if it’s only for a weekend.

All these vehicles on the road mean that there are more opportunities for car accidents to occur. Besides busier roads with more cars, there will be more road construction during the summer as well. Extreme heat and rain can also increase the chance of accidents.

You owe it to yourself to take a few extra steps to help ensure you have a safe trip.

Here are some safe summer driving suggestions originally published by Carwise.

Make sure your vehicle is ready for extended trips

Prior to embarking on your vacation have a mechanic inspect your vehicle’s brakes, tires, belts, hoses, fluid levels, A/C, transmission, and oil. In the summer heat, it’s also important to make sure that your car stays hydrated just like your body. That means inspecting the radiator, radiator hoses, and coolant level. Right before setting out on your trip also check the following:

  • car maintenanceTire pressure including the spare
  • Wiper blades
  • Battery strength and cable connections
  • Oil level
  • Look for suspicious fluid leaks underneath the vehicle
  • Headlights, brake lights, turn signals and emergency signals

The last thing you need while transporting your family cross-country is to get stranded alongside the road in the blistering heat. Instead, make sure that your car is as road-ready as possible.

Related post: Spring Car Maintenance Checklist

 

Plan for potential roadside emergencies

Planning in advance will still never totally eliminate the occasional travel emergency, but you can be ready for anything the road sends your way. Make sure that your car is stocked with these items:

  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight
  • Tire tools and a road-ready spare
  • First aid kit
  • Cell phone charger
  • Plenty of water
  • Hazard triangle or road flares

If you are going to be traveling many miles across sparsely-inhabited areas, like a desert, it’s also not a bad idea to pack some non-perishable food items and warm blankets.

Related post: Top check engine light causes

 

Secure pets and kids safely

Any parent who’s gone on a summer car vacation with kids knows that Johnny and Susie oftentimes end up fighting in the back seat. Insurance industry studies have found that kids and loose pets can be up to 12X more distracting to a driver than a cellphone.

To improve those odds, make sure that your family pets are secure in the vehicle before setting out, and that the kids are comfortably spaced about inside the interior. Bring along plenty of entertainment items for them like books, games, IPads, movies, and music. And don’t forget to pack lots of healthy snacks and drinks for your family members, including the non-human ones!

 

Pack your car carefully

When the average family goes on a driving vacation their vehicle is usually stuffed full of personal items, and oftentimes cars get packed in a hurry. Take time to make sure that the weight is distributed evenly, and that the driver has a clean line-of-sight all around the vehicle. If you are placing bicycles, kayaks, or other “toys” on the roof rack, know how high those items stick up if you encounter low bridges or tree limbs, along with the weight limit of the rack itself.

 

Take driving breaks

It seems that most men are programmed with the notion that they have to do most of the vacation driving. Unfortunately, they get fatigued like everyone else, and when that happens the likelihood of an accident goes way up as reaction times and concentration suffer. On long trips when there’s only one driver in the vehicle, it’s advisable to stop at a rest area and allow them to take a stretch break every 2 to 3 hours. If other drivers are available, everyone should take turns behind the wheel while others nap or simply relax for a while. A fresh driver is a safer driver no matter how you slice it!

 

Need a reliable repair shop you can trust?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair, dent removal, mechanical repairairbag replacement, and auto body painting in the local area to customers from New Lenox, Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan and other southwest Chicagoland cities. Contact us or get an online estimate.

Call Today: (815) 485-8411

How to Avoid Winter Breakdowns

                             How to Avoid Winter Breakdowns

Winter is the hardest time for all of us when it comes to health or vehicles. As the changes in season are predictable, so are the breakdowns of the car.

It is always a clever idea to prepare yourself to avoid the winter breakdowns.

 

Avoid dead car battery

Nothing spoils a day quicker than a dead car battery. No matter how expensive your ride, it still has a lead-acid battery under the hood. The average lifespan of the car battery is around 4 to 5 years. It’s always good to get them tested. The test is cheap and most of the shops complete the load test on your battery at no cost.

It’s also easy to discharge a good battery in normal winter driving; if you’re stuck in slow traffic during a short run on a freezing day, you can run a battery down with excessive use of electrical accessories combined with lower engine speeds. If you are a daily traveler you can give your battery a fighting chance by turning off the accessories for the last few miles before turning it off for the rest of the day.

 

Flooded engine

There are vehicles that come with independent ignition coils on the spark plug that are not as prone to cold weather failures. But there are also some cars that face problems during every winter. When the spark plug is worn their electric supply cables become deteriorated, that makes it easy for the injected engines to flood in the cold start. To be safe it is required to check the system in every 100 miles and maintenance is required.

 

Related Post: Winter checklist 

 

Frozen Doors/locks/ windows:

If you ever bought silicone spray you can save it for the winters and use it to protect your doors, windows, and locks before they freeze. When the temperature is hot during the winters, you can apply that silicone spray on the door locks and windows. Don’t try to substitute just any lubricating spray for these jobs. If there are any oil compounds in the spray they will deteriorate rubber weather-seals and certain plastics faster.

 

Flat Tires:

If your car is older than six years that means your tire needs inspections since you can be driving the leaky wheel rims. The alloys can create some leaks as the time passes and because of the leaks, the tire rubbers can seal. The minor leaks in the warm weather can be risky in the chilly weather. An effortless way to test your wheels is to wipe a sudsy wet wash-mitt on the rim’s edge (where the rubber meets the metal) and look for bubbles caused by escaping air. Applying the coats on the wheel can keep the leak away.

 

 

Need your car repaired after a winter accident?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair and dent removal in the local area including Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan, Chicago and the southwest Chicago suburbs.

Call (815) 485-8411

Picture source: Autofinity

Tire Pressure in Winter

Tire Pressure in Winter

 

It important to remember to check the tire pressure this winter before driving so you have a safe journey and optimal tire performance.

 

Here are some strategies to make sure that the tire pressure is perfect for driving in the cold weather.

 

Remember that the tire pressure varies as the temperature fluctuates and in this area, the temperature often changes daily. In winters as the time changes, when days are shorter and colder, it’s very important to check tire pressure.

 

Its recommended that you review your car’s manual to check the correct tire pressure of the car. The recommended tire pressure is in the manual and the placard of the vehicle is based on the inflation pressure. Your manual’s recommended tire pressure is more reliable than the number listed on the tire.

 

Related Posts: Preparing your car for winters 

 

In North America, the temperature fluctuation is at the average of 50 degrees which means that the tire pressure changes by 5psi and every 20 degrees the pressure drop by 2psi. A drop of 5psi during winters can affect the handling, traction, and durability.

 

If your car is parked in the heated garage and later your car goes out in the wintry weather, with every 10 degrees drop the tire pressure reduces by 1 psi. Incorrect tire pressure can also lower the gas mileage by 0.3% and can improve the fuel efficiency by 3.3% if the correct tire pressure is maintained.

 

It’s important to check the tire pressure whenever there is a change in the weather and check the tire PSI more often in the winter.

 

 

Need your car repaired after a winter accident?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair and dent removal in the local area including Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan, Chicago and the southwest Chicago suburbs.

Call (815) 485-8411

Cars Winter Checklist

There are few things that needs to be checked before we think of driving in snow. It helps us to be prepared, minimize the roadside risk and inconvenience in the mornings. Driving in winters are uncomfortable but it’s also dangerous if not prepared , here are some tips that can make your winters season driving SAFE:

Car Winter Checklist

  • Battery and charging system – Get you battery and charging system checked by a technician. Well maintained and charged battery is important before starting an engine in wintry weather.
  • Engine horse – A visual inspection is important to check if there are any leakage, cracks or loose lamps in the cooling system hoses.
    Tire type and tread – To have the best traction control in winter season, changing all four tires to snow tires is important.
  • Transmission brake and power steering fluids –  Make sure to check the fluids level are at or above sale level. Check your engine coolant and antifreeze levels – antifreeze is a substance that protects your engine from freezing during winters.

Related: Preparing Your Car for Winter

  • Use winter windshield wiper fluid – Using winter windshield fluid in essential because its not the same as windshield fluids used in other weathers, winter windshield fluid defreeze the windshield quicker.
  • Switch to a winter-grade oil at your next oil change – Oil change is useful for operating a vehicle in the winters, when chilly weather begins to set in, you should consider switching to an oil with a lower chilly weather viscosity grade. If you normally use a 10W-30 oil, switching to 5W-30 at your next oil change for the winter is a good move.
  • Replace dirty filters –  engines running poorly is less efficient and burns more gas.

Following these winter driving tips are a good method to stay warm and safe in the freezing weather and avoid the mid-trip breakdown.

 

Need your car repaired after a winter accident?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair and dent removal in the local area including Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan, Chicago and the southwest Chicago suburbs.

Call (815) 485-8411

Tips for Avoiding Winter Collisions

Winter car accident

When harsh winter weather arrives in northern Illinois, car accidents and vehicle collisions begin to rise.

Even though this will keep our auto body repair shop busy, we don’t really like all these accidents. Many collisions result only in dents to be repaired but any car accident puts people in danger and can cause serious injuries.

Accidents happen but often they can be avoided. We’ll share some tips for avoiding winter car accidents. 

Illinois is ranked #7 in the nation for winter car accidents by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (Ohio is #1 with Pennsylvania close behind.) That’s not really a top ten we want to be in but we hope it reminds you that winter collisions are a real threat in our state.

In Illinois, the average cost of a winter collision repair is $2,600. Slow down to save lives – and money.

 

Avoiding winter collision tips

  • Slow down when weather conditions are wet, cold or snowy.
  • Leave extra space between you and the car in front of you.
  • Avoid distractions: phone, playing with the radio, eating in the car.
  • Replace your windshield wiper blades to improve visibility.
  • Replace your tires if their treads are worn.
  • Make sure your tire pressure is at the recommended level.
  • Don’t overreact if you start to skid.
  • Accelerate/decelerate slowly and try to avoid braking abruptly.
  • Don’t underestimate slipperiness of the roads.
  •  Beware ice on bridges, underpasses, low areas or shaded areas and intersections.
  • If you’ve been in a minor accident or your car stalls, pull over and stay in your vehicle.
  • Watch for deer in rural areas, especially in November and December.

Most common times for winter car accidents

The most common times for deadly winter car accidents were around 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Related: Tips to Avoid Hitting a Deer with Your Car

Most common day of week for winter car accidents

Saturday, by far, is the most common day to get into a deadly accident. Friday is a close second.

Most common causes winter car accidents

The most common causes of car accidents in winter aren’t really any different than any other time of the year: distracted driving, excessive speeding, and tailgating.

Related: How to choose the right tires for driving conditions

All three of these common causes of accidents are preventable!

When the snow is falling, put away your phone, slow down for conditions and leave extra room between you and the car in front of you.

Bonus tip: Put away your phone, don’t speed and don’t tailgate all year long and you will be less at risk for accidents.

 

 

 

 

 

Need your car repaired after an accident?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. Serving the local area including Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan, Chicago and the southwest Chicago suburbs.

Call (815) 485-8411

How to choose the right tires for driving conditions

The Right Tires For Your Car

Choosing the right set (or sets) of tires can help create a safer, more comfortable ride in a variety of weather and driving conditions.

Which tires best match my driving conditions?

It is important to analyze your driving conditions and then pick the tires that best suit them. Do you drive your vehicle in dry weather? Or in rain and snow? Do you drive your truck only on highways, or do you also go off-roading? These tips and other similar information about specific driving conditions can help you choose the right tires for your needs.

Read More

Winter Driving Tips You Need to Know to Stay Safe

Driving in Snow
 

When you live in Illinois, winter time means dealing with cold and snow.

The best way to deal with wintry conditions is to stay at home unless you absolutely need to leave.

Everyone though has to drive on snow covered roads sometimes though. It just can’t be avoided. You might drive to work in the morning and leave in the afternoon to find three inches of snow on the streets. Or you may have to pick up your kids and bring them home.

Read More