Winter Driving Myths | Hebert’s Town & Country

January 25th, 2017 by

When it comes to winter in Louisiana, it’s usually a little warmer than we’d like it to be. But it’s still winter and we do get some cold temperatures from time to time. Because of this, we know it’s always better to be prepared than surprised. In the rare chance we get snow, we’ve decided to bust a few winter driving myths.

1. You don’t need to let your car warm up.

We’ve seen so much misinformation on this topic. A lot of people now argue that burning the extra gas is costing you extra money and the carbon monoxide emissions are bad for the environment. We’re not advocating for unnecessarily wasting gas or polluting the air, but we do think it’s wise to let your vehicle idle for just a few minutes, especially in frigid temperatures.

Why do we suggest this when most vehicles are now fuel-injected and controlled by computers? Because of the oil. Cranking the ignition and driving away immediately on a really cold morning isn’t wise because the lubricating oil doesn’t flow as well. This can make your car lag while driving or potentially be dangerous, especially if your vehicle is older, because you’re putting strain on the engine before it’s ready.

2. You need four-wheel-drive for snow.

Yes, 4WD is an advantage in the snow, but it’s not a necessity. What is a necessity for getting around during winter weather is a solid set of snow tires and common sense. We don’t see much snow in Arkansas, but they’re still a good idea during the winter.

Winter tires aren’t the same as all season tires. If you live somewhere where it’s common to get more than a few random inches of snow during the winter, do yourself a favor and swap them out. If you can navigate through slush, give yourself extra time to stop and your rear-wheel-drive vehicle has snow tires, you should be fine.

3. You only need to scrape the windows.

It’s 18º outside and your hands are shivering trying to scrape off the windows and windshield while the car heats up. You just want to stop shaking so you leave the snow and ice on top of your car and drive off. You come to the first stop light and what happens? The snow on top of your car slides onto the front and/or back windshields. Sure, you can probably use the wiper blades to get most of it off the front, but your visibility is impaired. Wear thick gloves, invest in a sturdy ice scraper and get the snow off the top.