Friday, July 19, 2013

Summertime Means Storm time.

Summer has definitely hit us full force this year.  Along with the heat have come what seems like daily thunderstorms.  Mother Nature has her way no matter what we do.  But, as motorists, it is up to us to make sure we are prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws our way.

Here are some tips to keep you safe and dry when the weather gets rough.

When its Hot  - Obviously the air conditioning in your vehicle is your number one defense against heat while you are driving.  As important as it is, you need to make sure it is kept in good shape.  Do not wait until the middle of summer when you could fry an egg on the sidewalk to find that the air is not quite so cold anymore.  At that time, most A/C service shops are booked up or charging an arm and a leg  or both thanks to the laws of supply and demand.

Instead, take a pro-active approach.  Each spring, have your A/C system checked out by a mechanic certified to work on A/C systems.  Not only will you have a much easier time getting an appointment, you will also likely save money. (Supply and demand again)

Also, think about your vehicle's happiness.  It needs to stay cool as well.  You should always have your vehicle's cooling system checked while you are having your A/C inspected.  It is one thing to be sweating while driving.  It is a much bigger bucket of not fun to be sweating on the side of the road while looking at your car overheating.

When it's Wet - There are two really important ways to keep you dry and safe in the rain.

First are your tires.  Making sure that your tires will keep you tracking straight and true in any weather is vital.  You should check not only the tread left on your tires, but also check for unusual wear.   Your tread should wear evenly from the inside of the tire all the way to the outside.  You should also check for spots on your tires that are either slightly bulging or are worn.  If you see bulging, have the tire check Immediately!  This could be a sign of a soon to happen tire blowout.  Not a good thing in any weather.

Second are your wiper blades.  These should also be checked regularly.  You do not want to be caught in a rain storm seeing only some faint redish blur in front of you!  Wiper blades are not expensive.  You can buy cheap replacements if you wish.  We recommend spending a little extra and getting a good, name brand blade.  The extra few bucks will be well worth it.

When it's Cold - Now I know it's summer time but if you haven't noticed by now, we try to teach being prepared.  Be ready today for what may come tomorrow.  Cold weather can pose some of the biggest challenges to motorists.

This is another time that your tires should be checked regularly for wear and tread depth.  Also have your heating system checked so you can drive nice and toasty warm.  If you live in an area that gets very cold, another good tip is to always make sure that you have at least a 1/4 tank of gas in your tank.  Any less and you risk the gas itself actually freezing.

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may still get stuck somewhere you don't want to be, in weather you don't want to be in.  This is another challenge you can prepare for.  Always have an umbrella, an extra blanket, a jacket and a few bottles of water in your car.  It may seem a bit over the top, but having these supplies on hand just may save your life.

Final Note - We all know that Mother Nature can be brutal at times.  No matter how technologically advanced we get as a society, we are always at her mercy.  With this in mind, please remember, if the weather gets really DON'T DRIVE!  There is never a time when getting somewhere is worth your life.

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