Traveling in the ice and snow is dangerous – and it can cost you a lot of money in repairs if you don’t take the necessary precautions. But there are a lot of myths floating around which concern the adequate measures to be taken when operating a vehicle in the cold. And unfortunately, drivers are often misinformed about the safest ways to take care of a vehicle in winter conditions. Here are 3 winter car & care myths debunked.
Myth #1: You should always warm up your car for at least 10 minutes before driving it in cold weather.
This is possibly the biggest myth – and the most believed. Studies have found that the majority of Americans assume that they should be idling their car for ten minutes before driving when temperatures are below 32 degrees. And while it’s fine to let your car run for five or ten minutes to warm it up, it is a common misconception that it actually prevents damage to the engine. Experts suggest to warm up your vehicle for just 30 seconds, and then begin driving. Remaining idle for too long isn’t healthy for the vehicle, and the sooner you begin driving – the faster your engine will warm up.
Myth #2: All-wheel drive makes a car safe to drive in snowy weather.
Though all-wheel drive is a significant advantage in reaching your destination through snowy, hazardous conditions – it cannot assist in stopping the car. Many people confuse the all-wheel drive feature as a safety net, while it is merely an asset. Too many people feel that their car is impervious to all weather conditions with this feature, while in reality – the most important component in preventing an accident is to practice good driving characteristics.
Myth #3: You don’t need winter tires.
While a set of all-season tires is better than nothing, the simplest and most cost effective way of creating efficient winter-driving for yourself is to invest in a good pair of winter tires. Many people make the mistake of neglecting to change out their tires according to the season, and then spend the entire winter driving with summer tires. Not only does this damage the tires, but it provides significantly less protection for you and your vehicle in hazardous driving conditions.