Driving in winter weather in indiana Winter car care in Merrillville, Hobart, HIghland Indiana

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Merrillville Auto Glass & Trim
8606 Mississippi Street 
Merrillville IN 46410
219-769-1905
Secrets for getting thorough our winters:

A few car washes in the area are now offering unlimited car wash's!!!  From anywhere $20 to $30 -This is a great way to keep that salt and built up ice off your vehicle- get the better wash to clean your undercarriage. This is such a great deal especially now - with the weather we have been having. 

Winter is hard on every part of your car. Here are some tips for cold weather care to get you going.

Add heat to your gas tank when the weather is below 20. 
and also ask your mechanic on your next oil change about a lighter weight oil. 

Make sure your battery is in top shape.  Your local garage should have a battery load tester. This device simulates a hard start and how it drags on the battery’s available power.  Cold engines with cold oil in the crankcase are hard to turn over, making the battery work harder. A battery that works fine in the summer can easily leave you stranded.

A good rule of thumb is that a battery that is three or more years old should be tested. Batteries rarely last more than five years.  Aftermarket high powered accessories like fog lights or car stereo amplifiers can shorten the life of your battery even more. 

If you have one, run the electric defroster only as long as necessary. Because a defroster transforms electricity in to heat it draws a lot of amps from the battery. Definitely use it, but turn it off when the window is clear.  Winter is hard enough on the battery without the defroster. 

Buy a soft bristle broom to remove snow. Most brooms around the house are too rough and can easily scratch the paint on your car.  A good test is to try a brush stroke on you hand.  If it feels soft enough, it probably is.  Home depot always has a nice selection of brooms if the ones at your home are too rough. 

Now put your broom in the trunk and leave it here, before someone else uses it to sweep up something abrasive. Use it exclusively on you car and you won’t damage that expensive paint job.
Along with the broom in the truck – also keep a blanket, flares, water, some packaged food just in case you get stuck somewhere. 

Antifreeze – Year round coolant should be fine if water has’t been added to weaken the freeze protection.  Protects down to -37F. Making certain the antifreeze will protect your car to the winter temperatures you‘ll experience in our area you will need a 50-50 mix of coolant to water

Protection of 50% anti-freeze 50% water: 
Freeze protection: -34 F 
Boil over protection: + 265 F

Maximum 70% anti-freeze and 30% water: 
Freeze protection of: -84 F 
Boil over protection of: + 276 F

Corrosion Protection: exceeds all ASTM and SAE stands for corrosion protection.

You can check this yourself with a little device that you can buy in auto parts stores for a coupled of bucks. You suck up a little of the antifreeze from the radiator – or the overflow container and see how many of the little balls float.  

By the way, this is very important. If the stuff freezes, it expands, and it’s by-bye engine block. 

If your coolant hasn't’t been changed in several years, get the cooling system flushed.  The rust inhibitors in antifreeze bread down over time and need to be renewed.  Plus draining out the coolant and refilling the system removes dirt and rust particles that can clog up the cooling system and cause problems in the winter and summer.

Keep your windshield reservoir filled with non freezing washer fluid- visibility is a must! you can also add rubbing alcohol to your windshield reservoir - it will help keep it from freezing. 






Every 6 Month Change your wiper blades and have Aquapel Glass Treatment to your windshield
Come in now! 
Living in Northwest Indiana we do have so drastic weather at time - so be prepared

#1 cause of accidents-- driving too fast for conditions and tailgating. 

Driving tips:
NO TEXTING WHILE DRIVING 
enough said

Increase you following distance.  
As weather conditions worsen, stay further away from the vehicle in front of you. If the vehicle loses control you will have more time to react safely. Please - don't dash in front of people thinking they are "going to stop" They may have bad tires, bad viability and guess what they are not going to be able to stop. 

Watch you mirrors and antenna for ice buildup. Usually, when the mirror face becomes ice coated the road surface will soon follow.

Lube all locks, door locks, toolboxes. This can help you from being locked out of your  vehicle

Keep all mirrors, windows and lights clean.  Being able to see clearly – as well as being     seen.  AQUAPEL, AQUAPEL, AQUAPEL CAN'T SAY ENOUGH ABOUT IT 
If you don't want to buy Aquapel-a coat of car wax will also do. 

Stay abreast of weather conditions and  upcoming changes.  

Watch for other driver’s bad habits. Tailgating, weaving in and out can be an indication of inexperienced (or stupidity) regardless if it’s car or truck. Most times you can spot an “accident waiting to happen.”  Keep your distance. Who needs the extra stress and honestly what is an extra ten minutes? 
(Employers- ease up if it really bad outside- I would rather have my employees at work late then never coming in again) 

Raise your horizon of driving. Watch the distant road ahead for debris in the road, brake lights, merging traffic or anything that could cause you to alter your course or take action.   The sooner the better. 

Keep your windshield washer bottle full.  There’s nothing worse than getting splashed with the chalky calcium de-icier that states use and your visibility goes zip. - and make sure it has an antifreeze in it or add rubbing alcohol to yours.
  (We carry 303 Washer tablets you can keep in you glove box - just add water and alcohol anywhere and your ready to roll. )

Treat your fuel for maximum protection.  Keep ice hot in your tank to keep any water out of your fuel- you'll appreciate this when it is well below freezing or below zero. 

Make sure your windshield wipers are in good shape. ( yes i am bring this up again!)  Winter wipers – with the rubber coverings that keep ice from collecting on the blade – have become very popular.  There’re great in the winter, but make sure you take them off in the spring. Winter wipers are heavy and if you use them all summer , you’ll eventually wear out the wiper motor- We have wipers in stock 

Keep your gas tank close to full, for a couple of reasons.  In the summer, you can take a chance and run down to fumes. But in the winter, if you do get struck or stranded, the engine will be your only source of heat.  You don’t want to have to worry about conserving fuel and saving the planet right at that moment… you want to stay warm. (And make sure you keep your window cracked.)  We don’t want to lose you from carbon monoxide asphyxiation. 

The other reason for a full tank is that warm daytime temperatures will fill the empty space in the tank with moisture, which will condense during the cold night.  This water will sink to the bottom and sooner or later, rust out your tank.  A lot of cars fuel pumps are in the gas tanks on the bottom- letting your gas tank get low will allow your fuel pump to suck up all the debris that is on the bottom of your tank – ruing your fuel pump which is expensive to replace- since they have to drain and drop your fuel tank to replace it. 

Know your car.  Every car has different handling characteristics.   You should know what your car can and cannot do in the snow.  You should know if it has anti-Lock  brakes and traction control, how they work and how they help. Also, see below 

Winter driving emergencies are among the few legitimate uses for a cellular phone.  So, if you’re cellular inclined, and you promise not to use it to chat while you smash into other innocent people a cell phone is certainly a plus if you get stuck. Plus this is a tuff one -teach teenagers they done have to pick the phone up when it rings. Try this one at home -it is a tuff one to teach - but as a parent an interesting time to watch them squirm -they just can't stand not answering - try it some time  you will be laughing on the inside. ( we have 5 children)
Our daughter Danielle was the hardest -but the best  squirmier you ever seen.


When driving in the snow do everything slowly.  Even with good coolant, snow tires, traction control, all wheel drive, and the bag of Diorites in the trunk, keep in mind that driving in snow, sleet and ice is very treacherous.  Even if you maintain control of your car, not everyone else will. 

 So, don’t ever get lulled into a false sense of security.  Do everything slowly and gently.  Remember, in the snow, the tires are always just barely grabbing the road. Accelerate slowly and gently, turn slowly and gently, and brake slowly and gently.  To do this, you have to anticipate turns and stops.  That means what? Going slowly and leaving plenty of distance between you and other cars.  Rapid movements lead to skids and loss of control.  Drive as if there were eggs on the bottom of your feet- step on the gas and brake pedals so gently that you don’ bread the eggshell. 

If you are nervous about driving in winter, consider spending some time practicing.  Go to an empty parking lot and try sending the car into a little skid on purpose.  Slam on the brakes, then practice turning in the skid and see what happens- and practice until you’re comfortable regaining control of the car.  Doing this is a large, empty parking lot allows you the luxury of skidding without ending up flat on your back, looking up into the eyes of seven different EMS.  The more comfortable you are maintaining control and regaining control, the better a winter driver you’ll be.  Once the snow and ice arrive, take some extra time to make sure your car is clean and your visibility is good. Clear off the entire car, not just a little peephole in the windshield.  First of all you need just as much, if not more visibly in poor conditions, berceuses you have to keep you eye peeled for every other knucklehead on the road.  Make sure every glass surface is clear and transparent by using a snow brush and /or ice scraper.  Your side view mirrors and all lights should be brushed and cleared as well. 
Now, if you haven’t been smart enough to do so already, clean the snow off the rest of the car. Why? Because the rest of the snow will either A- slide off the roof and cover your windshield as you’re slowing down; or B – fly off onto some else’s windshield and cause him or her to smash into you . 

5 tips for driving on snow and Ice 

We’ve all gotten stuck in the snow. We stayed at work too long or had to go out last minute for things we needed before a blizzard.  Before we knew it, we were stuck in six inches of snow.  Here are five great tips for keeping it moving when the snow flies.

(1)Snow tires, snow tires, snow tires. - or just new tires  -- PLEASE
 Nothing works better for traction through snow than snow tires- or just multi seasonal tires. 
I know just from having my tires replaced made a big difference even in rainy weather , I have better traction and don't have to worry about spinning tires. 
  Regular all weather tires pack up instantly, giving no traction at all.  Tires made for snow have deep and wide grooves to vent snow. Snow tires are made from softer compounds to give better traction.
 Planning is essential here. Snow tires  should be in your garage and ready to go, mounted on basic steel rims. 
  Get all four tires for the best traction.  If you can afford it.  Otherwise two for the drive wheels will have to suffice.
All of tires are for multi purpose - 
But, if you don't want to be all over the road this winter, new tires are a must. 

(2)Add weight to the drive wheels.  Many vehicles are rear wheel drive with the engine and transmission weight up front.  With little weight in the rear, wheels easily  spin out.  If you can’t find any sandbags in your garage to fill up the trunk, get creative! In the worse case you could stockpile on bags of dog food or kitty litter, and it can double as a traction getter on ice and snow. 

(3)Purchase a good ice scraper. Working  at an auto glass shop, I see the wounded windshields after every snow.  Improvising car owners have used spatulas, screwdrivers, chisels, and anything else they had around you to get the troublesome ice off quickly.  Plan ahead and get your scraper before the first snow, while your favorite auto parts store has them in stock.  In a pinch, defrost the windshield on high for a few minutes and use the edge Of  their credit card you have with the highest interest rate. 
 With any luck you will get an unscratched ice free windshield and break that nasty credit card in half. 

(4)Keep DE ICE in your purse or garage. Ever tried to put you key in the car lock but it wouldn't’ even go all the way in? your lock has froze. Auto parts stores carry something called lock de-ice that costs less than a buck. I keep one wherever I park my car. Insert the small tip into the keyhole and then squeeze in the liquid contents. The lubricant usually breaks down the ice in the lock. Buy two., a good backup plan is leaving the door unlocked. The down side, of course, is that the locals might take up your invitation. 

(5)Apply an application of aquapel water repellent- it is a high tech application that bonds with your windshield making viability in wet conditions better.  Water just slides off your windshield- its better than rainx – and last around 6 months – cost is $11.95.  also remember to change  your wiper blade at least 2 times per year for best visibility and to keep it from scratching your windshield.  Aquapel will also help get ice off your windshield because it will let ice slide off easily. 


We carry both in stock ready to apply to your vehicle
This would be another tip that I would not do without this winter. 
Aquapel is excellent - and helps ice from sticking to your windshield. I also put it on our rear windows, doors and outside mirrors - being able to see  ..........PRICELESS! 

Send your Children in for us to Clean there windshield inside and out - apply Aquapel and new wiper blades.  As a mother - I always make sure our  kids do this twice a year- yes all five of them. 

Things to Do when You Get Into Accident: 

No matter how well you drive, you’ll probably be involved in a fender bender sometime in the next few years. 
Here’s a list of tips that will help you make you accident less traumatic.

DO:
Prepare by having a notepad, a few pens and a disposable camera in the glove box or even your cell phone camera. 
Sketch the accident scene, noting all cars involved, roadways, direction of travel, skid marks, and anything else to help you case. Write a description of what happened. Note any contributing factors like wet roads, or blocked signs that couldn't’ be seen. Date, time and sign your notes. Photograph the scene.

Beware of accident scams. Some thieves will pretend to have an accident by bumping the rear of your car on an empty road or even stopping suddenly in front of you and then back up. 
  When you get out of the car to investigate, they rob you or steel your car.  Drive to a populated place or police station before getting out of your car if things seem suspect- or keep a cell phone in you car for emergency – in that way report the accident before getting out of your vehicle. 

Copy down driver’s license numbers and vehicle owner’s registration. Remember that the owner (i.e. the insured) might not be the driver. Find out the insurance company name. Passenger’s names, and the work and home telephone number of the driver.
Record license plates and vin's’ from the other car(s). The VIN is located on the driver’s side other the dashboard and can be seen thought the windshield. This will help you later on if the driver happens to have stolen plates and bogus registration card
Collect names, addresses and phone numbers of witnesses.

Never admit gilt at an accident – that is what your insurance company gets paid to do – just take down information.
Remember the police officer take down information – and is not allowed to judge who was at fault. Give him the basics – so as he can make his report. Get a copy of the report and check it for accuracy – if something was taken out of context then have it amended immediately. 

Your insurance company may request that you send them a copy of the police report. 
Talk with your insurance company - I have heard stories that people who thought they were not at fault  found out that there insurance company paid for the other persons vehicle. So keep in contact with them. 

Also - beware of your surroundings. There have been a few car jacking's - with you as the driver in our area.  Keep your doors locked-  if you are by yourself only unlock your driver's door to get in -some wait for you to unlock the door and then get in with you and tell you to drive.. Try to park in a lighted area.  

This included just running in and picking up your pizza and coming right back into your vehicle.  this is when it is most likely to happen.  So just be aware.
8606 Mississippi St
8606 Mississippi Street   
  Merrillville IN 46410  
   (219) 769-1905
  
9:00 am to 5pm
 Monday - Friday
Merrillville Auto Glass & Uhpholstery  Sunroofs Tops