The wacky winter weather can be harmful in more ways than one. It's important to keep in mind proper car care even after the storm has blown past the city. Janet Ray from AAA has a few car care tips to keep in mind:
- If you’ve been out driving on roads, good to get a car wash, including thorough cleaning of the undercarriage where salt/sand/chemical mixture used to melt ice can gather and cause rusting if not cleaned off
- Repair any small “dings” in the windshield before they become larger cracks, which necessitate replacing the windshield…much more expensive.
- Check air pressure in tires. Should do this routinely anyway, but it’s especially critical to have tires at the correct inflation for best traction. Use the tire pressure on the information plaque of the vehicle, not the maximum pressure listed on the sidewall of the tire.
- Check wiper blades. Cold weather is not kind to rubber and even blades that were relatively new prior to the recent storm may no longer be adequate to clear windows (while you’re at it, make sure to refill the windshield washer reservoir so you’re ready for the next “cleaning” of the windshields…don’t put in water; use recommended product from your owners manual).
- If you experienced any trauma to the wheels of the vehicle, like running into a curb while sliding sideways, it would be a good time to get your alignment checked to prevent premature tire wear.
- Using boiling water to clear windows/door locks of snow probably will cause more problems than it will help. Boiling water on frozen windows will cause rapid expansion of the glass…thus creating a perfect situation for small imperfections in the windshield to morph into large cracks; also, water getting into door-locking mechanisms probably will freeze up more quickly than you can get the key into the lock; instead you should keep a supply of automotive deicers (outside the vehicle) to use when locks are frozen
Be cautious, even if the snow and ice are gone from the streets, danger could lurk in the form of “slush ruts” (i.e. the slush which accumulates in the middle of the road); the slush ruts, especially if still a mixture of ice, can literally act as a track and cause your vehicle to run off the road or into oncoming traffic. Also, if you drive a sedan-style vehicle that doesn’t have much ground clearance, be very cautious when turning into driveways or side streets from plowed roads. The berms that develop when a plow pushes snow aside may be high enough to cause your vehicle to high-center—and thus require a tow.