Prepare for Winter: Chevrolet Maintenance Tips

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We have cooler, sunny days in the forecast for the week ahead, but it’s never too early to prepare for the arrival of winter weather. Not only should we be altering our driving habits to accommodate for the change in road conditions, but we should also arrange with a local mechanic to complete maintenance that will ensure the top performance of our Chevrolet vehicle(s) all season long.

Keep your Chevrolet clean

Snow, salt and ice can build up quickly when you’re on the road, leading to poor visibility and possible corrosion on your Chevrolet. Rid your vehicle of hazardous debris with frequent visits to your local car wash or our J.B.A. service department; your Chevrolet will thank you.

Monitor all vehicle fluids & check your oil!

As colder temperatures arrive, the oil in your Chevrolet can begin to thicken making it harder for your vehicle to start and perform to the best of its ability. With the winter season approaching, it’s a good time to start monitoring the levels of all fluids in your vehicle. If you’re unsure about your Chevrolet fluid levels, our technicians are here to help! You can schedule your service appointment online or contact us directly: 410-766-6300.

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How’s your battery?

The battery of your Chevrolet will take a serious beating with the arrival of colder temperatures. In fact, the change in temperature can decrease the charge of your vehicle battery even if it’s new. To avoid getting stuck on the side of the road in bad weather, ensure that a mechanic takes a close look at the condition of your Chevrolet battery.

Keep the tank full

This tip might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. Fill up your gas tank when you have a chance. Not only will this decrease the likelihood of you running out of gas in poor winter weather, but it will also decrease the chances of your gas line freezing.

Do you have your winter tires?

When outside temperatures dip below 44°F, it’s important that you change over to your winter tires. The rubber on all-season tires can harden in cold temperatures which will cause your vehicle to lose traction on snow and ice covered roads. Winter tires, however, remain flexible which allows the rubber to grip the road.

Need help choosing the right winter tires for your vehicle? We’re here to help! Visit our website or contact our service department: 410-766-6300.

 

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Stay safe on the roads this winter!

JBA Chevrolet
7327 Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, MD
410-766-6300

Sources: Waterdown Collision | Autotrader

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How A Summer Day Improved My Winter Testing

A hot afternoon at the lake inspired GM Engineer Nicholas Jahn to create a method for improved cabin warmth in the cold.

snowAs an engineer at GM, my day job is a huge part of my life. But as is the case with many of my colleagues, I have a more important job to worry about once I punch the clock – being a parent. It’s no surprise, then that many of us find inspiration in things our children do, say, or yes, sometimes ruin, and take those lessons back to our day job at GM. And some of these sources can be really surprising.

My moment of epiphany came at a very ironic time. As a GM Vehicle Thermal Systems engineer, one of my main responsibilities is making sure your car can warm the interior cabin as quickly as possible in the dead of winter. So you would never expect my moment to come while I was swimming in the lake behind my house on a hot summer day, but that’s exactly what happened.

I was out swimming with my one-year-old daughter, Ava, when it soon became very apparent that we had forgotten to put her in a swim diaper before taking her into the water. It was so apparent because shortly after coming in contact with the water, her diaper began to grow in size very quickly. Out of pure curiosity, I decided to look into what material caused this to happen.

After some internet searching, I came across sodium polyacrylate, the material responsible for absorbing the moisture in diapers, and found that it was commonly used as a substitute for snow for holiday decorations and hobbies like model trains and dioramas.

I quickly ordered a sample and after some testing, I realized that sodium polyacrylate not only looked just like snow, but also shared the packing and, most importantly, insulating properties of snow. After talking it over with my colleagues, we then developed a test using the material, which you can read more about here.

Being a parent can open your eyes up to many new things in life, many of which you may never expect. But as with anything, it’s what you learn from experiences that is the most important part. We at GM want to build vehicles that can handle anything life throws at them, which is why we take inspiration from places you’d least expect it, and use it to design, build, and sell the world’s best vehicles.

Stolen from https://fastlane.gm.com

 

Safe Winter Driving Practices

Winter-DrivingWhile looking around on the Maryland MVA (Motor Vehicle Administration) website, their ‘Safe Winter Driving’ page caught my eye. Winter driving always seems to catch us off guard, it comes every year, but we forget how to drive in winter conditions at the start.  So, here’s a friendly reminder, and some tips on how to stay on the road without breaking down or crunching your car.

Service your vehicle now. No one wants to break down in any season, but especially not in cold or snowy winter weather. Start the season off right by ensuring your vehicle is in optimal condition. (Schedule your Service Appointment at JBA Chevrolet online)

Check your battery. When the temperature drops, so does battery power. Plus, it takes more power to start your vehicle in cold weather than in warm. Find out if your battery is up to the challenges of winter.

Check your cooling system.  When coolant freezes, it expands. Such expansion can potentially damage your vehicle’s engine block beyond repair. Don’t let this happen to your vehicle this winter!

Fill the washer reservoir.  You can go through a lot of windshield wiper fluid fairly quickly in a single snowstorm, so be prepared for whatever Mother Nature might send your way. Keep an extra bottle in the trunk.

Keep windows and mirrors clean.  Safe winter driving depends on achieving and maintaining the best visibility possible. Good visibility is always important, but even more so during the winter months when road conditions can make driving extremely hazardous.

Check your windshield wipers and defrosters.  The summer has a tendency to dry-out wiper blades, making them brittle enough to crack and come apart. Now is the time to change your windshield wipers before you get caught in the rain or in a snowstorm.

Inspect your tires.  Regardless of the season, you should inspect your tires at least once a month and always before embarking on a long road trip. It only takes about five minutes. If you find yourself driving under less-than-optimal road conditions this winter, you’ll be glad you took the time!

Know your vehicle.  Every vehicle handles somewhat differently; this is particularly true when driving on wet, icy, or snowy roads. Take time now to learn how to best handle your vehicle under winter weather driving conditions.

  • Practice cold weather driving when your area gets snow — but not on a main road! Until you’ve sharpened your winter weather driving skills and know how your vehicle handles in snowy conditions, it’s best to practice in an empty lot in full daylight.
  • Drive slowly. It’s harder to control or stop your vehicle on a slick or snow-covered surface. On the road, sufficiently increase your following distance to provide a safety cushion between your vehicle and others on the road. Braking time is slower in these conditions, and you must allow yourself more room.
  • A word of caution about braking: Know what kind of brakes your vehicle has and how to use them properly. In general, if you have anti-lock brakes, apply firm pressure, if you have non anti-lock brakes, pump the brakes gently.
  • If you find yourself in a skid, stay calm and ease your foot off the gas while carefully steering in the direction you want the front of your vehicle to go. This procedure, known as “steering into the skid,” will bring the back end of your car in line with the front.

Stock your vehicle.  Carry items in your vehicle to handle common winter driving tasks — such as cleaning off your windshield — as well as any supplies you might need in an emergency. Keep the following on hand:

  • Snow shovel, broom, and ice scraper.
  • Abrasive material, such as sand or kitty litter, in case your vehicle gets stuck in the snow.
  • Jumper cables, flashlight and warning devices, such as flares and markers.
  • Blankets for protection from the cold.
  • A cell phone, water, food, and any necessary medicine (for longer trips or when driving in lightly populated areas).

Plan ahead, know your travel route and allow extra travel time.  Keep yourself and others safe by planning ahead before you venture out into bad weather. Driving in bad weather usually takes longer and is more stressful. Check the weather, road conditions, and traffic; plan to leave early if necessary.

JBA Chevrolet
7327 Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, MD
443-763-5076

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Winter Driving 101

Winter driving can be treacherous and unpredictable, placing extra demands on your vehicle and your driving skills. Here are a few tips to help you make it through the winter as smoothly as possible.

  1. Be prepared (that’s always #1 isn’t it?!) – keep a blanket, boots, gloves and a flashlight in your vehicle. A bag of kitty litter is a good idea as well, it could help you if your tires are spinning.
  2. Keep your fuel tank above half full, this prevents fuel line freeze-ups when things get really cold.
  3. Nothing beats a set of maintained wipers in a blizzard or sleet storm, and make sure your washer fluid is topped up for those messier drives.
  4. Take your vehicle to your service technician and have them look at your battery & coolant system. Older batteries & weak antifreeze might not protect as well in cold weather & can actually cause damage to your vehicle when it’s not running.
  5. Understand how your breaking system works. If they’re anti-lock brakes don’t pump them, instead press firmly on the brake pedal and let the system do what it was designed to do, namely, stop your vehicle.
  6. Be sure to have proper winter tires and keep them properly inflated.
  7. Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you to avoid situations where you may have to break suddenly on a slick surface.
  8. If you really aren’t very comfortable driving during the winter, you might be interested in taking an advanced driving course that teaches emergency driving skills… give yourself the confidence you need to get to your destination safely.

If you need some maintenance work done on your vehicle or winter tires installed give us a call, 1-877-587-4355, we’d like to help you drive safe this winter.

JBA Chevrolet
7327 Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, MD
Hours & Directions
443-763-5076