|VEHICLE PROTECTION AND WEATHER
METEOROLOGIST JEFF HABY
There is a huge relationship between a vehicle and the weather. We typically like to travel in nice weather.
We like to have our vehicle ready for inclement weather. We like to have a vehicle that can deal with all the
weather elements. This essay deals with preparing a vehicle for all the problems that can result from
all sorts of weather.
It is important to regularly take a vehicle in for inspection. A good time to do this is each time
the oil is changed. Below is a list of the common items that should be checked in order to get
ready for the weather.
1. Engine coolant/antifreeze: Vehicle needs to be ready for hot and cold temperatures. There is less stress on the engine
when coolant/antifreeze is fresh.
2. Windshield wipers: If the wipers are streaking or not removing water completely within their range of
motion then have them replaced.
3. Tires: Good traction is one of the most critical functions of a vehicle, thus the tires are very important. Make
sure the tires have good treads and are wearing properly. Having a blown out tire while driving is no fun. Replace
tires once they get worn. Good tires will give better traction during rain and ice events. Just a little
bit more stopping power can mean the difference between an accident and no accident.
4. Deicing equipment: Do not drive until ice has been removed from all the windows and mirrors. Have a good ice scraper.
Don't take the chance of driving with iced-up windows. Let the vehicle warm up if that is what is needed to
melt the ice off the windows. Keeping the vehicle covered or in a garage is a way to prevent or reduce an
5. Brakes: Have breaks , suspension and alignment regularly checked. During rain and snow it will even
be more critical that the breaks have peak performance.
6. Good battery: Extreme weather will put more stress on the battery. Don't wait until a battery fails
before replacing it. It is the battery is due for replacement then go ahead and do it even if they
say the battery is still good. When a battery goes bad it can occur rapidly.
7. Heating and cooling: Make sure air conditioning is running optimally especially when living in
a place that has a hot climate. Make sure heater is running optimally especially when living in
a place that has a cold climate.
8. Have a tune-up done on the vehicle when it is due. Keep the oil changed regularly. These two
things can significantly increase the life expectancy and keep the optimum engine performance of the vehicle.
9. Use sun visors when the sun is low on the horizon and in your eyes.
10. Make sure all the lights work on your vehicle. Have every bulb in the vehicle checked for
operation when it is serviced.
When buying a new vehicle this is a list of things that makes dealing with wild weather
more manageable and the buy more wiser.
1. If you will need to drive on ice and snow many times, consider getting a 4-wheel drive.
2. Make sure vehicle has no hail damage. Look carefully at the metal surfaces.
3. Make sure vehicle does not leak when it is raining.
4. Have a good warranty and insurance that can cover vehicle damage
5. If you will be driving through mountains and off-roading make sure to get a vehicle that is
optimum for those conditions. It should have a great transmission, all wheel drive and high
Below is advice for dealing with driving in inclement weather.
1. Drive slower during rain and ice. There is a reason why there are many more accidents during rainy
or icy weather and it is because of people trying to drive like they normally do when they should slow down.
2. Drive slower at night and in the fog. The reduction in visibility will mean a more delayed reaction.
3. If you can stay home during inclement weather then do it. If you have a choice to drive when the
weather is nice, take that over bad weather!
4. Use sun visors when sun is in your eyes. Drive slower also since it can reduce visibility.
5. Don't drive until all obstructions are removed from windows and mirrors such as dew, frost and ice.
6. Have a cell phone and emergency numbers with you.
7. If you have a chance to pull into a store and wait out the storm then do it.
8. Note the weather forecast before going on a drive or on a trip.
9. Driver slower during high winds.
10. Always stay alert to changing conditions.