Updated 11/30/2012 09:11 PM
Experts weigh in on winter car myths
Winter is upon us. Traveling in snowy and freezing temperatures can't be avoided, but are you doing the right things to maintain your vehicle? Our Iris St. Meran spoke with the experts to debunk some of longtime car myths.
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CENTRAL NEW YORK -- The mercury continues to drop and the snow is beginning to fall. For some drivers, heating up the car before taking off is a priority. But the AAA Fleet Operations Manager says that step is more of a comfort than necessity.
"The vehicle is actually going to warm up quicker as you're driving it as opposed to sitting in your driveway idling. You use more gas than is actually necessary from letting it idle. It does help with defrosters, cleaning off your front windshield," said AAA Fleet Operations Manager Todd Ingraham.
Now that you're on the road, have you checked to see how much fuel you have? Your parents might have told you not to go below a quarter tank or your fuel lines will freeze. Ingraham says a full tank isn't necessary for that, but is recommended as a safety precaution.
"So you don't get stuck on the side of the road if there's traffic backed up or you do go off the road,” Ingraham said. “You want to look at it from that standpoint."
AAA says many of the incidents they respond to can be prevented. They also say now is a good the time to check under the hood to make sure your fluids are topped off and your battery is in good working order.
"One of the things that you want to make sure of is when you go out in the morning and turn that key is your vehicle is going to start in the morning. So charging system is very important," said Ingraham.
And so is preparation. Checking snow tires and wipers before the weather gets bad is also helpful to you and other drivers you share the road with.
AAA also says snow tires and four-wheel drive can help drivers, but won't stop an accident.
The best advice is to have tires in good condition and maintain a safe speed and driving distance in inclement weather to ensure you have enough space to slow down and stop.