winter road trip

Preparing for Your Winter Road Trip

Preparing for Your Winter Road Trip

Many people believe that summer is the best season for a road trip. But this is not necessarily true. Around Winston-Salem, NC and throughout this part of the country, a winter road trip is equally interesting. You simply need to know how to prepare for cold weather driving and tune up your car before heading out onto the open road. Below, we go through some tips for your next winter excursion.

Check the Weather

Before your winter road trip begins, you need to check the weather forecast. Never rely on how it looks outside as you pack your vehicle. Things can change drastically in just an hour or so. A temperature drop of only a few degrees can make the roads icy or bring on a snowstorm. Preparation for these types of winter weather events is important. You should also keep your eyes on the road at all times, watching out for black ice.

Plan for a Slower Pace

Particularly if you intend to drive through the mountains, you should plan for a slower pace on your winter road trip than for a summer one. You have multiple things to consider when driving in winter such as the shorter days with early sunset. Also consider that driving under extreme weather conditions in winter is a bit more tiring than even a summer rainstorm. You have the extra concern of ice forming on the roads and have to maintain more diligent watch.

Plan Around Traffic

In the summertime, rush hour traffic slows you down just like it does in winter. But on your winter road trip, rush hour traffic can mean a higher likelihood of an auto accident. This is especially true if there is a weather event like rain, snow or sleet. For this reason, try to plan your driving before or after morning and evening rush hours. Use the rush hour timeframe to take a break, eat a meal or walk around some of the sights.

Plan for a Winter Vehicle Emergency

A winter road trip emergency can be different than a summer one. If you are driving in a region with extreme conditions like below-freezing temperatures, ensure you are prepared for a vehicle breakdown. Besides having all of the tire-change gear you need, also ensure you keep your phone battery charged. You might need a blanket and several layers of clothing or heavy boots. This is particularly important if your car stops running and you have to sit to wait for help or walk on frozen ground.

Keep Your Gas Tank Full

On a sunny day in spring or summer, you can wait longer between fill-ups than when you are on a winter road trip. In the wintertime, you need to be more cautious about how low you allow your fuel level to drop. Keeping the tank at least half-full at all times can mean the difference between life or death, should your vehicle break down. You will need fuel to keep the car running and the heating operating when it counts most.

Prepare Your Car for Your Winter Road Trip

Before setting off on your winter road trip, take your car to Cloverdale Auto for a winter tune-up. Our skilled mechanics can check your heater, brakes, lights, fluid levels, defroster and exhaust system. Of course we can also check your tires. If you are unsure of whether you need all-season or winter tires, we can help with making the right decision for that, too. We will also check your windshield wipers to ensure they are able to stand up against freezing rain, sleet, snow or other conditions.

Getting your vehicle serviced at Cloverdale Auto before your winter road trip also provides you with complimentary roadside assistance. This built-in, one-year policy means you are covered nationwide through a limited 24 month/24,000 mile limited parts and labor warranty. Wherever you go on your winter road trip, you have the roadside assistance you need, when you need it.

Schedule your winter road trip tune-up at Cloverdale Auto in Winston-Salem, NC today. Call us at 336-331-3448.

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