Man cleans a car from the snow with a brush

Little things can go a long way, especially when it comes to safe winter driving. If you want to ensure your vehicle is in the best shape to handle everything winter has to throw at it, we suggest adding these steps to your morning routine when getting in the car to go to work or dropping the kids off at school.

These 3 simple steps are quick, easy and can drastically increase the safety of you, your loved ones and everyone else on the roads. In fact, they are so easy you can do them in the morning as part of your normal routine.

Remove “fenderbergs”

You may not have heard this word before, but we’re willing to bet you know exactly what these things are. It’s those giant, packed masses of snow, ice and dirt that form around your tires during the winter. They are kind of like little icebergs that get stuck right on your fender. Fender + Iceberg = Fenderbergs!

These masses aren’t just unsightly, they can also make driving during the winter troublesome and dangerous. If they are allowed to persist, the constant spinning and scraping against your tires can speed up natural wear and tear and work down your tire tread – something you desperately need during the winter. These fenderbergs can also restrict tire movement when turning. If your tires get stuck you could find yourself in a world of trouble.

Every day, take a moment to check your fenders and, using a shovel or scraper, remove any excess ice or snow before it builds into a full-blown fenderberg. It will help you avoid driving over them as they naturally fall off, which could damage your tires as well.

Clean off your car as much as you can

After a fresh snow, it is a common routine to brush off your windows and headlights, so you can see and be seen easier while driving. However, we’ve all seen folks who cleared off their windows but still hit the road with huge piles of snow on their hood, roof and truck. This isn’t just potentially hazardous to you, but the people around you.

As you drive, the snow will blow off. If it’s on your roof or truck, you may not pay any attention because it doesn’t affect you. But, for the people around you, the huge chunks of snow that blow off will go right into their windshields and obstruct their view of the road. The same can happen to you if you do not clean your hood off.

Cleaning off the entirety of your vehicle may seem like a chore when you are doing it. However, it truly takes no time at all and results in safer driving conditions for you and the folks around you. Be a friend!

Keep fluids checked and topped off

Winter can take a toll on your vehicle and its individual parts and components. One thing that is commonly overlooked is your vehicle’s fluid levels and quality. Cold weather can cause certain essential fluids to thicken and lose effectiveness, and should, therefore, be regularly checked and topped off if needed.

Brake fluid, windshield fluid, oil and transmission fluid are the four you should certainly check on a regular basis. Brake fluid helps transfer and apply pressure so that brakes can properly, well, brake. Without properly working brakes, especially in slick conditions, your vehicle is an accident waiting to happen.

The constant splashing of slush can keep your windshield pretty dirty all winter long. Keeping your windshield fluid full ensures you’ll be able to keep your windshield clean and your visibility high. As for oil and transmission fluid, these are essential components for keeping your engine and other important parts under the hood running smoothly and keeps them from overworking during the cold.

Vehicle in need of a winter check-up? Take it to Raben! With locations across the Midwest, we can make sure your tires and fluids are ready to tackle winter driving.