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Winter’s Hidden Threats to Your Vehicle

Even with a green Christmas this year, the traditional snowy winter weather will undoubtedly return to Central New York State, giving drivers the usual seasonal driving challenges out on the roadways.

The NYE Automotive Group wants all drivers to be prepared for whatever they encounter out on the roads of the Oneida, N.Y. area. But while most people prepare for the worst when there is significant snowfall either coming down or predicted in the near future, there are also too-often-overlooked seasonal hazards out there that should also be of top concern this time of year.

The storm might have passed and the roads are clear, but there is likely significant salt residue left from the ice removal process. That salt can create serious rusting and corrosion to the underside of your vehicle, so as often as possible it should be washed away by a high-pressure spray. That salt is used to make the roads safer for winter travel, so don’t let it also have the negative effect of ruining your underbelly.

Likewise, those clear days are the perfect time for black ice to form. Aptly named, black ice is a slippery, glossy, and clear surface that often blends right in with the pavement and is unnoticed until too late. It will most commonly form when a light rain falls on a road that’s colder than 32 degrees Fahrenheit or when the roadway is already wet and the temperature falls to freezing. Roadways that are susceptible to black ice are those that are open to moisture and circulating cool air, especially near bodies of water or on bridges and overpasses. Avoid using cruise control if there is the chance of black ice, and if you start sliding always steer gently in the same direction and lightly accelerate. Never stomp on the brakes if you hit black ice.

There’s no new snow coming down, but snow banks will likely still be around, and they can sometimes be the resting point of a vehicle that had slid off the road on an icy patch. The worst thing you can do in a snow bank is spin your tires trying to get out — that will only end up digging you in deeper. Instead, put your vehicle into its lowest gear and back out slowly. If you have kitty litter in your winter survival kit, and hopefully you’ve remembered to pack a kit in your trunk with items like a blanket, flares, water, and snacks for emergencies, you can sprinkle it under the tires for added traction.

Your favorite shop at the NYE Automotive Group would be happy to check your vehicle to make sure it is properly prepared for winter driving. We’ll inspect everything from your headlamps for visibility and proper alignment to your battery for maximum starting power to your windshield wipers for their own ability to remove whatever lands in your field of vision while driving on slushy roads.

Give NYE a call today, and be ready for safe driving all winter long.

The NYE Automotive Group is located at 1479 Genesee St. in Oneida, N.Y. For more info on any of our vehicles and services, call (315) 363-0600 or email sales@nyeauto.com.

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