Bad road conditions, winter storms, and adverse weather are the reasons for over 3,000 road deaths and crashes. Motorists must know the safety rules when driving in snow and ice.
Tips for Driving in Snow
If you live in cities like Buffalo, you can't avoid driving around in the wintertime. Store cold-weather gear in your vehicle, including flashlights, warm clothing, blankets, a first-aid kit, extra water and food, a glass scraper, and an extra dose of any medications you're taking.
Some other tips include:
If You Must Drive in the Snow
Drive slowly: Continuously change your speed down to take into consideration when driving on ice or snow.
Decelerate and accelerate gently: Press the gas pedal gently to get back traction and circumvent skids. Never attempt to accelerate quickly. Take time to slow down for stop signs and red lights. Don't forget: It takes longer to reduce speed on icy streets.
Raise your following space to seven seconds: This enhanced margin of safety delivers the lengthier distance necessary if you must stop.
Don't stop if you can get around it: There's a vast difference in the amount of inertia it requires to begin moving from a full stop versus how much it needs to get going while still rolling. If you can reduce your speed enough to keep moving until the light changes, do it.
Don't speed up hills: Flooring it on snow-covered streets will have your wheels spinning. Try to get a good amount of movement going before you get to the hill and let that power move you to the top. As you get to the top of the hill, decrease your speed and travel downhill slowly.
Don't stop moving uphill: The worse that could happen in the winter is to travel uphill on an ice-covered road. Get some movement going on a flat street before you attempt to go up a hill.
Remain at home. Venture out only if necessary. Even if you're a pro at driving in adverse weather, it's best to avoid taking avoidable risks.
If you do drive in the snow and find yourself in need of emergency auto services, contact Buffalo Roadside Assistance.
Don't postpone until you slide across some ice or into the car in front of you to install your winter tires. If you're unsure when to put on snow tires, it's when the temperature falls under 7°C. Snow tires offer enhanced traction, handling, and braking. Winter tires perform excellently in snowy environments and on the dry, cold pavement.
When to Put on Snow Tires: Put on All Four Tires at Once
When outfitting your automobile with winter tires, it's critical to install all four simultaneously.
Changing to snow tires aids your car in sustaining stability and control in wintery conditions. Not exchanging all four compromises the overall efficiency and safety of your vehicle.
Two Snow Tires Just on the Front
Don't replace just two winter tires on the front axle of an automobile. This error is hazardous and can make you lose total control of your car.
Installing only two snow tires on the front axle will enhance the clutch in the front, creating a false sense of confidence. Also, just putting on two winter tires diminishes the grip in the rear, making you oversteer.
Two Snow Tires Just on the Rear
Putting two snow tires on the rear axle will improve the rear grip. Though, it might surprise a motorist with a declined grip in the front, creating an understeer.
When the back of an automobile loses traction, you glide off the road backward. When the front of a car loses traction, you drift off the road forward.
Buying Snow Tire Checklist
When picking a winter tire, take into account your driving needs:
Before purchasing winter tires, think about your driving habits, the level of safety and performance you want from your tires and automobile, the local driving conditions, and how much winter driving you plan on doing.
If you need help selecting a set of winter tires, ask our experts at Buffalo Roadside Assistance.
Your transmission fluid performs a tremendous job when it comes to sustaining a smooth-running vehicle. It's responsible for carrying power from your engine to the street, not to mention cooling and oiling your whole auto transmission unit. Have you ever wondered, "What are the symptoms of low transmission fluid?" Read on to learn a few signs of low transmission fluid.
Usual Signs ("What are the Symptoms of Low Transmission Fluid?")
A fluid leak or bad car transmission part can destroy your car. To avoid pricey auto transmission repairs, you must be aware of the indicators that your transmission fluid is low.
Below are the usual signs that it's time to fill up:
Transmission slipping: If every time you shift gears, your vehicle falls out of it; this is known as a transmission slipping. Abrupt down and up shifts, increases in RPMs before shifting, odd grating noises, and unpredictable shifts are also traits of this issue.
All these signs imply you're low on the transmission fluid and chance overheating. These happenings may also denote that vital friction materials and transmission bands can't completely engage a gear, indicating the existence of severe system damage.
Overheated transmission: If you have smoke coming from your vehicle, irregular shifts, a burning smell, or a loss of power, pull to the side ASAP. These symptoms mean your transmission is low on fluid and overheating. Don't keep driving and risk damaging the inside components of your vehicle.
Delayed gear engagement: You will notice a short pause when you shift to reverse and drive when you're low on transmission fluid. This error occurs since there isn't enough hydraulic pressure to start the gear change.
Irregular shifts: Another sign of low fluid is variabilities in your shifts. You'll realize if your shifts are abnormal if they're slamming, hesitating, or increasing speed. The deficiency of fluid creates inconsistencies for both shift evenness and control.
Transmission failure: If you have any symptoms after you've filled the fluid reservoir, it's an indicator that you need a transmission replacement or rebuild.
Call Buffalo Roadside Assistance when you need help refilling your transmission fluid or any other type of car maintenance work.
Bad tire alignment can reduce your MPG, create steering wheel vibration, and wear out your tires. Below are some indicators that you need an alignment fix.
Reasons for Steering Wheel Vibration
There are numerous reasons for a vibrating steering wheel, including:
Going to the right or left: If a car's wheels are terribly out of alignment, you'll detect the automobile trying to turn from one side to the other. If you're grappling with the wheel, it's time for an alignment, putting the wheels all in the right direction.
Passive pulling: With a minor alignment issue, the car might not pull. When you let the automobile go straight without a hand on the steering wheel, the vehicle could naturally drift off in one direction. Also, this is an indication of an alignment issue.
Vibration: Bad alignment might also produce vibration with wheels rubbing against one another. If your car is shuddering while traveling down the road, inspect your alignment.
A crooked steering wheel: Another indication of a car out of alignment is that the steering wheel might be bent while the vehicle is moving straight ahead.
Advantages of a Tire Alignment Fix
Bad tire alignment can create several different issues on a vehicle. Below are a few reasons it's not smart to keep driving without a comprehensive tire alignment from a skilled auto mechanic business.
It helps with tire rotation: If your tires are out of alignment, they might wear wrong and become shredded.
It satisfies warranty requirements: If your tires have a lifetime certificate or warranty, be sure to carefully read your document. It probably includes the provision of scheduling regular alignments to keep tires from wearing inaccurately.
It betters handling: A car with a correct wheel alignment is simpler to drive. When managing obstacles like potholes, it's easier if you have proper wheel alignment on your vehicle.
Increases gas mileage: Like many other car issues, bad alignment may produce a lower MPG since the car puts more power into its trajectory than necessary.
Don't allow incorrect wheel alignment to affect the complete health of your automobile. Contact Buffalo Roadside Assistance and schedule an appointment for an alignment fix.
Do you ask yourself, "Should I warm up my car in the winter?" If you're one of those motorists who feel it's crucial to turn on your automobile and let it sit for some time before hitting the streets in the wintertime, you might be doing your car more harm than good.
Your vehicle doesn't necessitate warming up on a cold morning. Below is why many motorists still hold to this belief and why this lie needs to stop.
"Should I Warm Up My Car in the Winter?" Ancient Advice
Whoever told you that you must warm up your automobile on a cold morning is stuck in the past.
Before 1980, numerous vehicles required idling in the cold months. The reason being carburetors controlled the fuel-air combination within the engine and couldn't correctly modify the air to fuel ratio in cold weather.
In cold temps, carburetors wouldn't be able to evaporate all the gas they allow into the engine. Therefore, some of it would remain as a liquid instead of burning off. To work right, a carburetor must warm up, or else it'll stall.
Reasons Not to Warm Up in Winter
Still not persuaded to stop warming up your car? Well, keep reading to find out how harmful it is.
It Causes Engine Damage: If your check engine light is on, it might indicate engine damage stemming from warming up your car in the winter. Idling not only wastes gas but strips oil from vital parts that aid in your engine operating. Little oil means more wear and tear, friction, as well as a briefer lifespan for your engine.
Idling your car might reduce your vehicle's fuel efficiency, harm your engine's piston, destroy the environment, and get you fined. Do your car, the earth, your wallet, and yourself a favor this winter and don't make "warming up my ride" a part of your morning routine.
If engine performance concerns you or your check engine light is consistently on, it's time to arrange a complete auto inspection. Please schedule an appointment with us at Buffalo Roadside Assistance. Our technicians are ready to aid in helping your engine remain resilient for a long time.
If you're storing your convertible for the wintertime, having a vehicle sit for an extended period can take a toll on your automobile. The outcome is you might have trouble starting your car when you're ready to drive it.
However, with the right preparation, your vehicle can sit for weeks problem-free. Below is all you need to know regarding how long can a car sit without being driven.
The Answer to “How Long Can a Car Sit Without Being Driven?”
Damage to your automobile in long-term storage is contingent on numerous factors, like your parked vehicle's place and how appropriately you prepared it. Though, the adverse effects on an undriven car might become apparent sooner than you might think.
Fuel can go bad. If not kept in an airtight container, fuel changes with oxygen, causing it to decompose. This process starts after a month. It takes just 90 to 120 days for a full tank of gas to become corrupt. Old gasoline loses its capabilities and gets varnish and gummy deposits, which can destroy other parts of your vehicle's fuel system.
When you drive your car often, a battery usually lasts from two to five years. Though, when your car is sitting, the battery will die in only 60 days. When you're driving, the alternator continually recharges the battery to refuel the power you're using. No driving equals no charging, resulting in a dead battery.
When your car sits for a long time, flat spots develop on the tires. The tires form a sort of memory that stops them from becoming round. This occurrence creates shaking when you're driving after storage. Flat spots start as early as 30 days and get worse by low tire pressures.
In many instances, driving a car frequently after storage might eliminate the flat spots. But typically, the damage may be permanent, necessitating a new set of tires. Along that line, also check your belt and hoses. Due to storage, these parts might need replacement as well.
Reach out to us at Buffalo Roadside Assistance when you have questions about putting your vehicle in storage.
When there is a burning smell from your car while driving, it's imperative to handle the problem immediately. Read on to learn some probable causes.
Burning Smell from Car - Overheating Rubber
If you've detected a smell like burnt rubber coming from your automobile, it could be the result of a slipped belt. The smell might also be coming from a hose in the cooling system that is melting. If this happens, let the vehicle cool down. Afterward, get your belts checked by a professional Buffalo auto mechanic.
A short circuit in your auto's wiring could be by something as little as a plastic bag stuck in the exhaust, or something more complex like visible wires rubbing together. It doesn't matter the case. This issue can lead to a fire happening at any second. Take your vehicle into a repair shop ASAP if you get a whiff of burning plastic.
Brake Pads or Rotors
If you start to smell a burnt scent as you push down on your brakes, this can mean that you have overheated rotors or brake pads. Left unchecked, you might find yourself dealing with early brake failure or brake wear. Getting your rotors and brakes inspected right away if you believe the burning smell is flowing from this part of your automobile.
Leaking oil could be very dangerous for your car's safety and your well-being. It could destroy your engine or create a car fire. If you have an oil leak, your automobile will be the scent of pungent smoke or burning oil. Don't disregard the scent and have your car examined as soon as possible.
If you smell something burning when you cut on your vehicle's heat, that could mean something wrong with the heating unit. It might be from a damaged heating unit or debris and dust accumulation in the heating system.
If the smell continues after you've examined your vents for debris, bring your car into an auto repair shop to identify the issue. Call us at Buffalo Roadside Assistance for help.
Most folks are aware of which type of gas their vehicle requires. But not as many are knowledgeable about the difference between regular and premium gas.
Difference Between Regular and Premium Gas
One apparent difference is the price. Based on studies, premium fuel usually averages around 55 cents more per gallon than regular gas.
Switching from Premium to Regular Gas
Automobiles function best with a particular type of fuel.
A high-octane gas won't ignite swiftly. This fact explains why high-performance vehicles with high compression engines need higher octane gas. Engines that use higher octane fuel typically work more effectively. It is critical to use the right octane for your particular car. Using the correct octane level stops damage to your car's engine, helping it operate at peak performance.
If you use a lower than suggested level, the gas might combust too quickly for your engine. Additionally, a lower than recommended gas can diminish your vehicle's power and fuel economy, causing engine damage.
Using fuel with a high-octane rating than suggested, the possibility of danger lessens. The fact is that using premium gas when your vehicle operates on regular gas doesn't provide any extra advantages.
If your engine uses higher compression ratios, you will usually have to use high-octane gas. Your owner's manual tells you which gas is best for your vehicle model. You can look inside your fuel door. A sticker is there displaying your auto's fuel requirements.
If your car needs premium fuel, the sticker will say "premium unleaded fuel only" and the correct octane level.
The Longevity of Premium Gas
If your auto's manual just states to use "premium" or "premium recommended," you might want to test the various premium levels to analyze how your vehicle's performance alters. You could do this by letting your gas tank get to a quarter level and fill up with premium gas.
Jot down your gas mileage while driving with the various premium gas octanes. Test the different octane levels. You need to observe how your vehicle sounds and feels while driving. You also want to write down the acceleration rates.
To enhance your car's overall performance, drive it more proficiently. For instance, don't floor it when the light turns green. When driving long distances, go at a consistent speed.
At Buffalo Roadside, we always understand the importance of having a well-functioning vehicle. Call us if you find yourself needing roadside help.
Buffalo Roadside is here for all your road care needs. Read our blog for tips on maintenance and how to stay safe on the road!