OH, THEWEATHER OUTSIDE IS FRIGHTFUL: OR IS IT?
It’s February, and though the weather outside may be a balmy 70 degrees, we’re likely to get some more frightful weather before winter is officially over in North Texas. But whether the temperature is 30 degrees or 100 degrees, there are some areas of our cars that we may neglect to maintain during the winter months—and that can spell real trouble.
An easy, yet often overlooked, item to maintain in our cars is the windshield wipers. Poorly maintained wipers can be a real danger on the road. Whether we’re experiencing one of North Texas’ violent spring downpours or an uncharacteristic freeze,well-working windshield wipers are essential for visibility, and they should be changed as soon as they don’t clear the windshield well.
Tires are often forgotten when it comes to car maintenance. Here in North Texas, since we don’t often see snowfall, we don’t usually think about changing our tires for the winter season. But did you know that summer tires can begin experiencing faulty performance when the temperatures fall below 44.6 degrees Fahrenheit? We certainly have seen weather that cold around here, and we will again before we’re officially into spring. And if we get any more icy conditions, our weakened summer tires can lead to poor handling and braking. At the very least,tire pressure must be adjusted to the temperature outside. The pressure in our tires is reduced by one PSI with every 10-degree temperature drop. With our temperatures all over the map this time of year, keeping a portable air pump and pressure gauge in the car could be a life-saver—literally.
How often do you think about what’s going on in your gas tank? Moisture in an empty gas tank can freeze and crystallize, resulting in ice in the fuel lines. Since we can be near freezing one day and in the 70s the next, what’s the best way of preventing such a problem? We can fill up frequently so the tank is never near empty.
And speaking of freezing, how many of us have an ice scraper in our cars? Even though it doesn’t happen often, freezing rain can leave our windshields shrouded in ice.Though scraping can be a lot of work, taking a shortcut can be disastrous. If you are ever tempted to pour hot water on your windshield to melt a layer of ice, don’t! The temperature change can crack the windshield, leaving you with areal mess.
One thing we’re all very familiar with is the hot Texas sun—and even in the winter months, the sun can beat down on our cars causing damage to the paint as well as the interior. The best way to protect our cars when we can’t park in the shade or a covered area is to use a windshield sun shield at all times—including in the winter. The shield will prevent cracking and fading of the dashboard,controls, and seats.
These are just a few things to think about as we finish out the winter season here in North Texas. And remember, if icy roads, downpours, or poor visibility should lead to an accident, come to Accident and Injury Chiropractic ASAP. We’ll take great care of you so you can get back out into our unpredictable Texas weather.