Check and recheck your tire pressure. Radials lose air in the winter.
Change your oil more often. Cold causes gas to puddle-up. Oil gets diluted and dirty - doesn't help engine performance.
If you use a moisture-control additive to prevent freeze-ups in your gas lines, use an isopropyl-based additive. Methyl or methane-based additives can adversely affect fuel injection systems and rubber seals.
If you have cinder blocks in your car for extra ballast, take them out. Newton's Law of Inertia says that if your vehicle stops in a hurry, those blocks are going to keep mov¬ing and that can be dangerous for you and your car. Keep sand or kitty litter or ballast which can also be used for traction on ice.
CAUTION: If you use jumper cables, be sure the ground is to the engine away from the battery. Hydrogen formed in batteries may be ignited by a spark from the jumper cables. (Ask me about my story.)
Also if you use jumper cables and have computer controls in your vehicle (most cars today), turn off the ignition when cables are attached. Otherwise, electricity can enter the car from the cables and ruin your computer controls.
If your car uses regular octane gasoline, going to a higher octane premium gasoline is not going to improve performance but will lower performance in extreme low tem¬peratures. Stay with your car maker's recommended octane. You will save money. And change your fuel filter. Dirty filters cause problems.
Keep your gasoline tank at least half-full. You won't run out of gas in snow emergen¬cies and it will help avoid gas line freexe-ups.
Consider snow tires for your front-wheel drive vehicle.
Here's why: Any tire is basically a compromise between noise (how quiet at highway speeds) and traction. Newer radials are designed for a more quiet ride and longer mileage. This sacrifices traction you need in snow.
Have an emergency kit in the trunk - flashlight, flares, entrenching tool (folding shovel - check army surplus stores), matches, candles.
John is John Peoples of Peoples Automotive located at Ballard Road and Route 9 in Wilton. John specializes in diagnostic and consultive automotive
services. He welcomes your enquiries and can be reached at 583-2699