Midday Fix: Winter driving tips

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Winter storms may not be here yet, but slick roads and snowy conditions are definitely on their way. Fred Ligouri of Chevrolet is in the studio demonstrating tips to help drivers prepare their vehicles for the wintry weather ahead.

What are some of the ways drivers can prepare for winter under the hood?
Check oil levels
Start by pulling out the dip stick and wiping it off on a clean, lint-free rag.
Next, insert the dip stick back into the pipe before again removing it and looking at the film of oil on the end of the stick.
If your oil looks clean enough but only reaches the “Add” level on the dipstick, you need to add oil.
Vehicle manufacturers recommend changing your oil once a year or every 7,500 miles, every six months or every 3,000 miles for diesel engines.
Add antifreeze
The radiator is responsible for cooling your engine and having the proper amount of antifreeze ensures your engine functions properly.
First, look at your radiator to see whether the liquid reaches the “Full” line on the side of the coolant reservoir.
If not, add additional antifreeze/coolant.
To determine how frequently to add antifreeze/coolant, consult your owner’s manual as intervals vary significantly from one auto manufacturer to another.
 
What can we do to the exterior of our vehicles to prepare for inclement weather?
Check tire pressure
Ensure you know the recommended PSI for your vehicle’s tires. Note that some vehicles have different recommendations for front versus back tires. This information can be found on both the tires as well as printed on a label affixed to the driver’s door jam. (Show sticker)
Always check your tire pressure with cold tires.
Remove the cap from the tire valve on the first tire.
Use your tire gauge to check the air pressure in the tire by pressing firmly against the valve.
Check the PSI measurement on your tire; if the gauge indicates you are low, add additional air.
Check all tires.
Be sure to check your tire pressure seasonally as temperature causes the air to expand and contract. It’s also ideal to check tire pressure before a long road trip or when you plan on towing or carrying heavy cargo.

Chicago winter weather can be intense. Is there anything we can do to improve visibility in a snow storm?
Change wiper blades
To avoid poor visibility, it’s best to change your blades at least twice a year.
To check if your wipers need to be changed, look for any corrosion or signs of weakness.
Don’t forget to check your rear window wiper, too.
Keep windows and headlights clear
Start by squeegeeing your windshield and headlights (at home or when filling up at the gas station).
Next wipe them dry with a clean rag before applying a thin layer of water repellent glass treatment in a circular motion. The repellent will cause water to bead up and roll off as well as make removing ice, snow and dirt easier.
When snow has built up on your windshield and head lights, use your snowbrush to brush snow off and then use the scraper side to remove ice.

How can we protect the paint on our vehicles from snow and salt?
Protect your paint finish
Unless your vehicle came with specific instructions from the manufacturer, you can choose from a variety of waxes; we’ll be using liquid wax.
To get the most mileage out of your wax job, apply to a freshly washed and dried car.
Give the bottle of liquid wax a good shake before applying a small amount to a clean rag or sponge.
Moving from the top to the bottom of the car, apply a thin layer of the wax evenly in small sections, being sure to avoid areas such as rubber trim and other plastic.
For the perfect finish and shine, once the wax has been applied, let it haze for a minute or so and then buff the area you have waxed using a soft, clean towel.
 
I’ve heard Chevrolet vehicles feature an onboard computer that monitors oil levels, engine efficiency, tire pressure, etc., making it easy to check your vehicle’s status without exiting the vehicle or getting your hands dirty. What items can the onboard computer monitor?
Demonstrate onboard computer
The onboard computer displays battery voltage, tire pressure in all four tires, oil life and coolant temperature and levels.
The computer will additionally signal to the driver if the oil is low or too hot.
Thanks to Onstar, if there is a warning light on your dash and you don’t know what’s wrong with the car, you can push the OnStar button to talk to an advisor who will run a remote diagnostic check of your vehicle and tell you want the issue is.

For more information, visit www.DrivingTheMidwest.com/WinterWeather 

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