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Winter tips & hacks that will save you money and headaches

There's trouble waiting for you out on the roadways this winter.  Unfortunately, you can’t control what others do, but you can improve your risk factor of an accident by paying attention to your own car and safety.  

Here's our top 10 habits and hacks that will help you prepared for winter out on the road. 

1 Save Your Wiper Motor, Linkage & Blades From Failure

Never rely on your wipers to remove accumulated snow from the windshield. If wipers are struggling to clear the snow or are frozen to the windshield, the result could be damage to the wiper blade arms, linkage or wiper motor. All requires repair in the hundreds of dollars and may leave you dangerously without wipers. Don't be this person.... 

2. Good Tires Will Save You From An Accident

You can not depend on four-wheel-drive alone to keep you safe on the road. During snow events you need good tires with appropriate tread. Sliding into a ditch is dangerous and not being able to stop or causing an accident due to worn tires puts you at fault.  Don't wait until winter arrives, snow as early as September is common. Plan ahead and always purchase a top quality tire. The investment in a good tire could save you from getting into an dangerous and costly accident. Think also of the inconvenience factor. During the winter, body shop work could take months to schedule. 

3 Frozen Door & Door Lock Troubles

If your vehicle is parked outside it is likely that at some point the door jam will freeze shut. Pulling hard on the door handle may result in a broken handle and a costly repair.  A slightly frozen door can be fixed with a gentle hip check or two to brake the ice. You may also try entering from the other side of the vehicle and give the frozen door a gentle shove from the inside. If it is the key lock that is frozen, try blowing into the lock through a straw or using hand sanitizer in the lock. To prevent freezing in the first place, experiment with spritzing cooking spray to the area where the door seals. Your icing issue might also be solved by simply parking your car differently to protect the drivers side from weather. 


4 Remove Snow Accumulations From The Roof To Avoid An Accident

Keep yourself, your passengers and other drivers safe by FULLY clearing the snow accumulations from the top of your vehicle. As you drive, any snow accumulated on the roof will begin to melt and large blocks of snow will begin to slide down onto the windshield blocking your view of the road.  Your wiper blades will not be able to clear this heavy snow.. You can avoid this, and a resulting dangerous situation, by removing all the snow from your roof before hitting the road. 


5 Winter Is Hard On Your Vehicle - Do The Maintenance based on manufacturer recommendations for Severe Driving Conditions

Becoming stranded on a mountain road is dangerous. On a dark or snowy night, pulling off onto the shoulder can be a deadly decision. There’s one way to protect yourself from roadside incident. Service your vehicle every 6 months at QAS where professionals provide a thorough inspection. A highly skilled technician can alert you to serious potential issue that if remains undetected could cause an unexpected brake down. At QAS we do this during the Standard Oil Service ServicePlus Oil Service and Major Mileage Service.


6 Rodents Nesting In Your Car Cause High Dollar Damage

When the weather gets cold, small animals look for warm places to nest. Your vehicle may become home-sweet-home. Animalswill chew on most anything to make their nest and can destroy entire electrical systems. Rodents can nest behind the dash and when they expire, leave a mighty unpleasant smell. There are a number of things you can do to keep animals from moving in. Ultra-sound products and other deterrents are available on-line. For a home remedy we suggest dryer sheets or mothballs. 

7 Replace The Cabin Air Filter For Fresh Air

Mountain roads are dusty and dirty all year long. Add to this all the pollen and smoke we get and your cabin air filter is probably ready for replacement.  We recommend this yearly for our mountain drivers, more often if you are driving dirt roads. A clean air filter keeps contaminants from entering the cabin and keeps you breathing fresh air.  


8 Restore Clouded Headlights for Clear Vision

As days grow shorter and wintry weather strikes, foggy and oxidized headlights become a safety issue. A dark and snowy night demands long distance visibility to see wildlife and obstacles in the roadway. You can restore your headlights with an over the counter product or have QAS do it professionally. Whatever you choose, you will improve your distance vision out on the road and be able to avoid potential dangers. 

9 Moisture inside the door panel will cause damage to electronics 

If your vehicle has been parked outside during a storm, even for a short amount of time, snow that accumulates on top of the car could fall inside when the door is opened. Snow that lands inside on the armrest or door panel and melts can eventually damage the window and door mechanisms. To avoid moisture from entering the door panel and damaging electronics, always clear the snow from the area where the door and the roof meet.


10 Are Your Fluids Winter Ready?

Winter temperatures are regularly in the teens and can dip to below zero. Over the summer you (or a mechanic off the mountain) may have refilled your window washer fluid or topped off your coolant with water or a fluid not rated for mountain temperatures. Check the washer fluid and coolant to assure you will not wake up to a block of ice under the hood at the first cold snap.