Ways You May Be Prematurely Aging Your Car

We all know that the winter weather takes a tool on your car, but bad habits could be making it worse. Here are the most common habits that may be increasing the wear and tear on your car.

Warming your car up or leaving it idling
It’s been an urban legend for many years – you must warm you car up in the winter before driving. But today’s cars have been proven to bust that myth, since their engines have enough lubrication that they don’t need to be warmed up. If you heat your car up just to get the inside nice and toasty before heading out in the brisk morning, just keep it to a minimum. Engines aren’t designed to sit idling for long periods of time. Keeping it idling for too long can cause a buildup on your spark plugs, which can make them less efficient, which wastes gas.

idling car

Poor tire maintenance
Driving a car with improperly inflated tires wastes fuel and wears down your tires’ tread. Check out Master Technician, Johnathan, as he demonstrates how to check your tire tread depth.

Putting the pedal to the metal
The speed limit signs you see on the side of the row are there for a reason! When you driving over the speed limit, you are forced to break hard, fast and abruptly, which cant take a toll on your tires’ tread. Allow some space between your car and the car in front so you don’t have to brake as hard, and scan the road far ahead so you can react with plenty of time.

speed sign

Baking the dashboard
Those sunshades you see in windshields isn’t just to keep the car cooler inside for those hot days, but to keep the dashboard from blistering, cracking, fading or getting otherwise damaged by the harsh rays of the sun.

Car window shade Jim Shorkey

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Common Car Problems in the Winter

With the temperatures warming to the 40’s and 50’s this past weekend, everyone was thinking spring. Unfortunately, those thoughts were short lived with the return of snow showers and single-digit temperatures at the beginning of the week.

And the wrath of winter weather doesn’t stop with us. It extends to our cars. The good news is, though, there are a number of things you can do to safeguard your car.

Batteries

One of the most common problems faced by drivers in the winter is failed batteries. Some contributing factors to a battery’s demise in the winter are how long you’ve had the battery and the quality of the battery going into winter. At Jim Shorkey, we suggest stopping by one of our Service Centers and having your battery checked before the winter starts.

According to AAA, your car’s battery can lose about 35% of its efficiency when the temperature is around 0 degrees.

Frozen Lines

The fuel lines carry gasoline from the tank to the engine. When you drive, the gasoline runs through the lines and keeps them clear. Sometimes, condensation can build up in these lines and, if left in cold weather too long, can freeze. To prevent this, you should take special care in keeping your gas tank at least half full, or between 3/4 to full throughout the cold months.

Winter Car Breakdown

If you have questions about how to keep your car safe in winter, contact our maintenance experts at any of our Jim Shorkey locations. If you run into problems, our service professionals can help.

 

Tips for Driving on Black Ice

The winter season is here, and for as pretty as the snow is when it covers the trees and roads, it brings many dangers for motorists, with one of the most threatening being slippery and hard-to-spot black ice.

Black ice forms when the air is at 32 degrees or below at the surface and rain is falling. The ground temperature causes the precipitation to freeze upon impact, thus creating the ice.

Due to complexion, black ice is very hard to spot, but using a car thermometer as an initial gauge can be helpful in determining the road conditions. A car thermometer is made to find the air’s ambient temperature. So if a vehicle’s thermometer is close to freezing, the car driver should be cautious on the roads.

BLACK ICE

However, dude to the restrictions of a car’s thermometer, the best way to know if the roads are icy before heading out is to be aware of how, where, and when black ice forms. The prime time for ice to develop are around dawn and in the late evening, when temperatures are typically the lowest. During the day, the best thing to do before getting in a vehicle is to take a look at the pavement. If the pavement is dry but you see spots of pavement that look dark and glossy, there is a great chance that it is black ice. The most common locations for black ice to appear are shaded or tree-covered parts of driveways and roadways due to the lack of sunlight and bridges and overpasses because of their ability to freeze quickly.

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While driving on black ice is similar to snow, the big difference between the two is the amount of traction the vehicle retains. Due to lack of traction a car has on ice, the basic rule for driving is to stay calm and let the vehicle pass over it.

Other tips for driving on black ice:

1. Do not hit the brakes, instead keep the steering wheel steady

2. Lift your foot off the accelerator.

3. Do not overcorrect your steering if you feel your car sliding

4. Use extreme caution on bridges and overpasses

5. Never use cruise control

6. Avoid unnecessarily changing lanes

7. Drive, turn, and break slowly

8. If you have anti-lock brakes, do not pump the pedal

9. Use your low-beam headlights

10. Remember, four-wheel drive doesn’t help you stop any faster.

Our service departments are here to get your winter ready