Winter Driving Tips from Volkswagen
2022 Volkswagen Taos / Volkswagen
Today marks the first snowfall of the season, and so far we’re seeing a lot of snow out on the roads! That being said, Volkswagen has some winter weather driving tips, which are perfect for those who live in New England and face the winter weather every year. There is a lot that Volkswagen has to offer for 2022, and making sure drivers are safe in winter conditions is a top priority.
Before You Hit the Road
Benjamin Leuchter, Volkswagen Test and Development Driver, suggests clearing snow and ice from all windows, not just the windshield. Also, remove any snow that is obscuring the side mirrors, headlights, and license plates. Remove snow from the roof of the vehicle, as this snow could hinder the drivers traveling behind you or fall forward, covering your windshield and blocking your own view.
“Many drivers either don’t know what to do when the weather gets cold or they are in a hurry and take shortcuts,” explains Benjamin Leuchter. “For example, they may only clear enough snow from the windshield to barley see out of instead of thoroughly removing the snow from the vehicle. That puts both the driver and other on the road at risk.”
Head Trainer at the Volkswagen Driving Experience, Peter Bunke, recommends the use of high-quality winter tires in snowy conditions. Winter tires are designed to have better performance in the snow than summer or even all-season tires. It is important to note that tire pressures may drop due to the temperature, so be sure to routinely check and set the tire pressures to the recommended levels for your Volkswagen.
Increase visibility by using washer fluids formulated to perform well at colder temperatures. You can also operate your vehicle’s heater and A/C at the same time to aid in the removal of moisture from the air inside the cabin. This helps reduce the amount of steam that could build up on the windshield and reduce visibility.
Be sure to check that your engine coolant and antifreeze mixture is at the recommended level and keep an eye on battery life. The battery can be strained under a particularly heavy load in cold temperatures and short trips may not allow enough time for your car’s alternator system to recover the lost charge. A battery charger can help remedy the lost battery starting power.
Take it Easy On The Road
It’s not best to start your vehicle and immediately drive at high speeds or high rpms, especially in colder weather or after your car has been parked for any extended periods of time. Bunke’s tip is to drive at lower speeds and rpms until the engine has warmed up.
Should you find yourself in a skid, Bunke suggest steering into the direction of the skid if your car is oversteering and the rear wheels are sliding to the outside of the turn. He also suggests being very careful when accelerating if your car is understeering and the front wheels slide to the to the outside of a turn. Most modern vehicles are equipped with technology to help with traction in slippery conditions: however, driving at lower speeds and rpms may help to reduce wheel spin, sliding and the need for the assist systems to intervene.