Torrance Auto Repair

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Baby, It's Cold (and Wet) Outside... Tips for Safe Winter Driving

Winter brings chilly mornings, gusty winds and pouring rain to Southern California.  The cold, wet weather creates driving hazards such as reduced visibility and slippery roads.  From December to March, motorists should take extra precautions to reduce the risk of accidents or vehicle breakdowns.

Safe Winter Driving Tips for Southern California

Car Maintenance

Treat your car to regular maintenance throughout the year.  When wind and rain make driving difficult, you’ll have peace of mind, knowing that your car’s in peak condition.  

Stay safe and comfortable during your winter travels.  Ask Hillside Auto Repair to inspect and service the following items on your car: 

  • Motor oil
  • Windshield wipers
  • Tires
  • Brakes
  • Headlights
  • Vents

DIY Preparations

Take steps to prepare for winter.  These DIY interventions will help you to safely get from Point A to Point B.   

  • Keep your car adequately fueled and/or charged
  • Check your jack and spare tire
  • Charge-up your mobile phone
  • Save important phone numbers (e.g. your family, friends, boss and coworkers)
  • Carry emergency equipment and supplies, including a first aid kit, a waterproof flashlight or head lamp, blankets, drinking water, jumper cables or portable battery charger, flares and a shovel.

Challenging Road Conditions 

Driving when it’s windy or rainy can be nerve-wracking.  Follow these tips to keep you and your passengers safe and sound.

  • Be alert and stay up-to-date on weather and traffic reports.  Anticipate and avoid traveling during storms. 
  • Before you begin your journey, investigate visibility and road conditions over the entire route.  
  • Ask yourself, “Is this trip really necessary?”  It might be wiser to postpone your errand until the weather improves.
  • Turn on your driving lights.  Reduce glare by avoiding unnecessary use of the high beams.  
  • Slow down and increase the distance between your car and the car in front of you.  This will give you more time to react to a sudden stop.  
  • Never use cruise control when the road is slick.
  • Familiarize yourself with your car’s special safety features, if any.  For example, four-wheel drive and anti-lock brakes help the driver to maintain control of the car while braking; however, neither enables the car to stop more quickly. 
  • Be especially cautious of a vehicle with frosted or fogged windows.  It’s likely that the driver’s unable to see you.
  • If your car begins to skid, steer in the direction you want to go.

Severe Storms

If, despite the best of plans, you get caught in a severe storm, take these precautions:

  • Pull off the road, turn off the engine and stay in your car.  Wait for help to arrive.
  • Turn on your emergency flashers.
  • Don't park under trees or in low-lying areas that may be susceptible to flooding.
  • If lightning strikes, don’t touch metal objects such as door handles, radio controls or the steering wheel.   

For more information about winterizing your car, call or make an appointment with Hillside Auto Repair.


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