Ensuring that your vehicle is well-prepared for winter driving is crucial for safe and hassle-free travel. So, how do you prepare for winter driving?

Before Hitting the Road

Preparing your vehicle for winter is crucial, and Jeff Melichar from Melichar 66 (facebook.com/p/Melichars-66-Sales-and-Service) emphasizes the importance of scheduling a comprehensive inspection beforehand. By conducting a thorough inspection before winter arrives, potential issues can be identified and resolved proactively, preventing them from becoming more significant problems later on.

Delaying preparations for your vehicle’s winter readiness can heighten the risk of significant problems such as battery failure due to cold weather strain, reduced tire traction on icy roads from worn treads and potential engine damage from inadequate fluid levels like antifreeze. Neglecting these crucial checks can compromise the safety and reliability of your vehicle during winter.

Jeff Melichar
Melichar 66

According to Jeff, “We address a variety of services to ensure your vehicle is ready for winter, including the replacement of any fluids, belts or hoses, tires and batteries as needed.”

Melichar 66’s specialization in all aspects of vehicle repair and expertise in engine diagnostics ensures that they can address various automotive issues, providing comprehensive solutions to keep vehicles running smoothly, especially during the challenging winter conditions.

Driving on ice is difficult and dangerous, even for the best drivers. New tires will always provide an advantage – especially the newer “ice tires” which use a combination of sticky rubber compounds and a significant number of sipes in the tread design. These sipes act like tiny suction cups to help grip the ice better than traditional tread designs. T.O. Haas Tire & Auto (tohaastire.com) can help you find the best tires to help you drive safely this winter.

T.O. Haas Tire & Auto has been a tradition of trust since 1947. They sell more than two dozen brands of tires and perform many automotive services important to safe winter driving, including oil changes, alignments, brakes, exhaust, shocks, struts, cooling systems, transmission-fluid flushes and more.

Matthew Moorhead
Shelter Insurance Agency

Before hitting icy roads with a pre-examined vehicle, it’s wise to review your car insurance coverage. Take the time to understand what your current policy includes and assess whether it provides adequate protection in winter conditions. Consider the pros and cons of potentially switching your insurance to ensure you have the best coverage for worst-case scenarios. If you don’t have adequate liability, uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage, an accident can go from bad to worse. To learn more about what coverage is going to be best for your situation, we recommend talking with Matthew Moorhead, Owner of Shelter Insurance Agency (shelterinsurance.com).

“I’m here to walk you through your coverage, explaining everything in detail to help find the options that suit you best,” Matthew mentioned. “Sometimes, people are drawn to those TV ads that suggest getting a quick online quote, thinking the cheapest price is the best deal. However, with insurance, it’s crucial to remember that the lowest price might not offer the best coverage. I’m here to help you understand the details and ensure you get the coverage that truly fits your needs.”

Especially when traveling away from home, it is better to be over prepared than under.

Sherri Stock
Auto Care

Once your car insurance is settled, you’ll want to make sure that your car is equipped for the winter roads. According to Sherri Stock, Owner of inMOTION Auto Care (inmotionautocare.com), “Preparing a vehicle for winter nowadays essentially involves an oil change and a comprehensive inspection to identify any possible issues. Components like batteries, hoses, belts, water pumps and spark plug wires can lead to breakdowns if they’re in poor condition. Taking care of repairs and maintenance proactively decreases the risk of unexpected roadside breakdowns in the future, ensuring a smoother and more reliable driving experience.”

Tire pressure is also something to consider, as it tends to decrease by one PSI (pounds per square inch) for every 10-degree drop in temperature. Cold weather causes the air inside the tire to condense, occupying less space. By checking and adjusting tire pressures, you ensure they are at the appropriate levels for safe driving, enhancing traction and overall performance, especially during the colder months.

Vehicles have a lot going on, and much of the maintenance they require aren’t things we regularly think about. At inMOTION Auto Care, their primary aim is to provide an exceptional customer-service experience for auto repair and maintenance. They think of everything we don’t. Their team comprises highly skilled auto mechanics committed to upholding the utmost integrity and professionalism in every service, whether it’s a minor fix or a major job.

One last piece of advice for preparing your vehicle for winter, and maintaining it through the colder months, is to visit a car wash regularly. During the colder months, maintaining the cleanliness of your vehicle becomes particularly important in safeguarding it against the detrimental effects of road salt and other harsh winter elements.

A great place to maintain your vehicle this winter is the locally owned and operated JetSplash Car Wash (jetsplash.com). Not only will JetSplash hand-prep your vehicle, but also hand-dry it, ensuring a deep clean that goes beyond the ordinary. Moreover, their JetGloss product offers a three-step ceramic coating that not only protects your vehicle from road salt and brine, but also provides a glossy finish with enhanced water repellency. It’s a comprehensive solution for keeping your car both looking great and well-protected during challenging winter conditions.

If you want extra protection for your car this winter, ride your sleigh over to JetSplash and check out their new Jet Gloss Ceramic three-step process. Jet Gloss’s unique surface prep step rinses away oxidized metals, concrete dust and other hard contaminants found in road salt, snow and ice. With a now-clean surface, the ceramic coating adheres to the vehicle perfectly, providing the best possible protection and the smoothest possible finish. And with nano graphene technology, Jet Gloss creates a protective barrier that repels water and other contaminants the winter throws at your car.

Driving in Unpredictable Weather

Because winter driving can be challenging and potentially hazardous, it is important to take precautions that help ensure your safety on the road. According to A1 Automotive (a1autolincoln.com), abiding by the following tips will help ensure that your winter journeys are safe, stress-free and free from the dangers of the season.

  • Prepare/Maintain Your Vehicle: Check the battery, brakes and tires, and ensure all essential fluids are at the proper level. Equip your vehicle with winter tires, and keep a winter emergency kit on hand, which should include items like an ice scraper, a shovel, a phone charger, a flashlight, blankets and non-perishable food. While driving, maintain good visibility by regularly cleaning your windows, lights and mirrors.
  • Drive Slowly and Smoothly: Slow down and drive at a safe, controlled speed. Avoid sudden acceleration, braking or sharp turns to prevent skidding. If your vehicle starts to skid, steer in the direction you want to go. Avoid slamming on the brakes or overcorrecting. Gentle, controlled movements of the steering wheel are key to regaining control. It is also beneficial to increase your following distance from the vehicle in front of you to give you more reaction time.
  • Stay Informed: Pay attention to weather forecasts and road condition updates. If conditions are extremely treacherous, consider delaying your trip or finding an alternative route. If you plan on driving in dangerous conditions, notify someone about your travel plans and expected arrival time.

Kendall Warnock
A1 Automotive

“Winter driving demands caution, preparation and the ability to adapt to changing conditions. By following these tips, you’ll be equipped to navigate winter conditions, from snow and ice to reduced visibility and cold temperatures. Remember, it’s always better to arrive at your destination a little later than to risk your safety by rushing in adverse winter conditions,” shared A1 Automotive Owner Kendall Warnock.

In addition to following these tips, it is also recommended to secure an auto insurance package that will cover you in the event an accident happens. Winter driving is unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared for every situation.

Ashley Freese
American Family Insurance

“American Family auto insurance is there when you need us most. With our Travel Peace of Mind package, you receive emergency road service, rental car reimbursement, road trip accommodations and accidental death and dismemberment at a discounted bundle package,” explained Ashley Freese, an Agent with American Family Insurance (amfam.com). “For all the unexpected that can happen during winter driving, we have your back with this package to help take care of you and your vehicle.”

For safe driving, and to ensure that you can get the most of your auto insurance, Ahsley recommends abiding by the three P’s for safe driving, namely Prepare, Protect and Prevent. With traffic picking up for the holidays, it is more important than ever to over-prepare for your trips.

  • Prepare for the trip: Before hitting the road, make sure your vehicle is in good working condition and you have all necessary documents, like a valid driver’s license and insurance. Preparing mentally by staying focused and alert is equally important.
  • Protect yourself: This involves using safety features within your vehicle, such as seatbelts, airbags and child safety seats. It also means adhering to speed limits, avoiding distractions like texting or using your phone while driving and refraining from driving under the influence.
  • Prevent crashes on the road: Vigilance and defensive driving are key to preventing accidents. Anticipate potential hazards, maintain a safe following distance and obey traffic laws. Be considerate of other drivers and pedestrians, use turn signals and avoid aggressive behaviors.

If you get into an accident, even when driving safely, don’t stress. American Family Insurance will be there to help. They can guide you through the claims process, helping you with the necessary paperwork and arrangements to ensure a smooth and efficient resolution.

In the event an accident occurs, the primary focus is on ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone involved. Once everyone has been checked out, you’ll need to focus your attention on the condition of your vehicle. If you find yourself in need of auto body repairs, consider reaching out to Midtown Body & Paint (midtownbodypaintne.com). With over 70 years of dedicated service in Lincoln, they specialize in top-notch auto-body repairs, precise framework, comprehensive painting services, paintless dent repair and glass replacement for all vehicle makes and models.

The technicians at Midtown stay updated on the latest technological advancements in the industry, ensuring up-to-date and efficient services. Renowned for their commitment to quality work, Midtown has earned a stellar reputation for building enduring relationships through consistently delivering high-quality repairs and service.

Dan Pape
Midtown Body
& Paint

“Collisions vary, and some damages may not be immediately visible,” shared Owner Dan Pape. As such, you should have your vehicle inspected even if there’s no apparent damage. Certain issues might become evident later on, and can cause a headache if you don’t have this initial inspection. This precautionary step ensures your safety and the optimal functioning of your vehicle in the long run.”

If there’s any uncertainty about your vehicle’s condition, Dan extends an invitation to reach out to Midtown Body for assistance. Their expert team can assess your vehicle’s state and address any concerns you have. Most importantly, Dan emphasizes the importance of maintaining your vehicle in peak condition and adopting safe driving practices. Regular check-ups and prompt attention to any issues contribute to not only the longevity of your vehicle, but also ensure your safety on the road.

Dealing with collision damage can be unnerving, taking you by surprise and leaving you unsure about what to do next. Seeking multiple opinions is common, whether the damage is minor due to weather or more substantial from another vehicle. The aftermath of a collision often brings anxiety about talking to your insurance company to discuss the incident and determining if your vehicle is repairable. It’s entirely normal to have these concerns and uncertainties, but seeking guidance from professionals and understanding the process can help alleviate the stress associated with such situations.

Tracy’s Collision Center (tracysbodyshop.com) uses a customer-focused approach to collision repair. They prioritize understanding and addressing the unique needs and concerns of each customer. From the moment you walk in with your damaged vehicle, they aim to provide not only top-notch repair services, but also a supportive and transparent experience. This approach involves clear communication about the repair process, detailed explanations of the work needed and ensuring that you feel heard and valued throughout the entire journey.

The family-owned business has deep roots in Lincoln, with services including painting, frame repair, wheel alignments and paintless dent repair. For 50 years, they’ve been putting drivers back on the road safely. Tracy’s Collision Center stands as a trusted pillar in the community, embodying decades of experience and expertise in the art of collision repair.

Navigating winter driving can be intimidating, but in Lincoln, a community of professionals stands ready to assist you.