This Winter, Don’t Get Your Car Stuck Before It Gets Started
By Mark Salem, NASCAR® Performance Crew Chief
When starting a vehicle in cold weather, be sure to allow the engine to idle
for a few seconds before driving off. Why? Because doing so will ensure proper
oil flow and lubrication. That said, don’t allow the engine to idle for a
prolonged period after start-up in cold weather. All this does is waste fuel.
It doesn’t do anything to warm drive-train components. After starting your car
and allowing it to idle for a short time, just drive easily for several miles
to ensure proper vehicle warm-up.
Icy Windows and Locks
Make sure you keep an ice scraper in your car, and check your windshield
wipers and defrosters (front and rear) to verify that they’re working
properly. De-icers for door locks are also useful, but heated keys are a bit
better when locks are frozen.
Stock the Trunk
It’s always smart to be prepared, so make sure you keep a few useful items in
your trunk – a small shovel to help dig out of snow is a good start. I also
recommend keeping a bag of sand in the trunk. It not only gives added traction
with its weight, but you also can sprinkle it on snow or ice to improve your
traction. Finally, throw an extra blanket, hat and gloves in the trunk, just
Winter’s coming – so be your own pit crew chief and make sure your car is
ready. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll have a much better season out on
Mark Salem is the “NASCAR® Performance Crew Chief” and
hosts a regular “Be Car Care Aware” segment on Speed Channel’s “NASCAR
® Performance” television show. An ASE Certified Master Technician,
he is the owner of Salem Boys Auto, an auto-repair facility in Phoenix,
NASCAR® is a registered trademark of the National Association for Stock Car
Auto Racing, Inc.