Driving North for the Holidays? Follow These 4 Tips to Stay Safe in the Snow


?Who doesn't get homesick listening to Bing Crosby's smooth baritone, "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know"? Whether you have family up north, or you just want to see what all the fuss is about snow, many Harlingen-area drivers will be heading to frozen climes this winter.

If you are not used to driving in the snow, we recommend flying to your destination and renting a winterized car there—or avoid driving altogether. If you are determined to bring your Chevy truck or SUV on a road trip, there are a few things you must take care of first to avoid a breakdown.
  • Test the battery. Batteries lose about 35 percent of their power output at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. In other words, you might have no idea your battery's Cold Cranking Amps are low until you're halfway to Vermont, and suddenly the ignition won't start.
  • Check the antifreeze mixture. Many local drivers use pure water for coolant because it rarely freezes here. Your Chevy should use a 50-50 mix of water and antifreeze to survive a northern winter.
  • Replace windshield wiper blades. In cold climates, your windshield wipers must combat ice and dirty road salt spray. Fresh wiper blades that make good contact with the glass are vital to ensuring visibility. You'll also want to use wiper fluid with an anti-icing agent.
  • Put on winter tires. Your summer tires may deliver excellent traction on clear roads, but they are unsafe for use on snow and ice. All-season or all-terrain truck tires may be a suitable alternative if you only expect mild winter weather.
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