Tips for Driving and Surviving Minnesota Winters
Minnesota winters can be rough. They are not for the faint of heart, and if you have to drive in them you better be prepared. Here at AAMCO Minnesota we care about your car’s reliability because we care about you. We know what it takes to get through winter in Minnesota. It can be challenging for anyone, whether you’ve lived here for years or just weeks. Here are some valuable tips and insights to help beginners – which might also be valuable reminders for seasoned veterans.
Always Be Prepared
Put simply, Minnesota winters are cold and severe, and it snows a lot. If you can’t park your car in a garage, you will do a lot of scraping and digging. Get yourself a good ice scraper and brush combination. Maybe get two so you have backup in case one breaks. Ice melt windshield washer fluid or spray-on ice melt can come in handy if you find yourself without a scraper, or if the ice is just too thick to scrape. There are some home remedies for ice prevention or removal. One solution to remove ice is to mix water and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and apply liberally to the windows. Spraying your windows with a solution of water and white vinegar the night before a snowfall can help prevent ice buildup. If you really don’t like to scrape ice and brush snow off your car, you can invest in a car cover, or at least a windshield cover.
Get a metal car shovel. Whether you’re digging out of snow in a parking lot or if you’re stuck in a snowdrift, you’ll be happy to have more than your hands. Keep a bag of ice melt and/or sand in your trunk – it can help get you out of slick spots when your tires just can’t do it alone.
Some other items you should seriously consider having in your car for winter emergencies include boots and an extra coat, as well as a hat, gloves, and blanket. A bag of kitty litter can help your car gain traction if you are stuck in a particularly icy or slick spot. Flares are good day or night, as they call attention to your position and situation. Keep a phone charger in the glove box. Protein bars, trail mix, or some other filling, high energy snack is a good thing to have just in case you become stranded. Tire chains are optional, but can really be your best friend when driving on slick, snow packed roads. Jumper cables are a great idea, too. If your car won’t start, and someone is willing to help, it pays to have the right equipment – and you can always help someone else in need.
Here are some other useful tips on what you can do to prepare for and survive Minnesota winters.
Learn to Drive in Snow and Ice
If you can, get snow tires for your car. Though nothing really helps on ice, snow tires do maintain better traction in snowy, slippery conditions, which helps you keep better control of your car. In addition, front wheel drive or all-wheel drive provides added safety and stability in winter conditions.
Slow down! None of the other winter driving safety tips will help if you’re driving too fast for the winter weather conditions. Driving too fast on snowy or icy roads is the main cause of winter car accidents in Minnesota. Stay at least five seconds behind the car in front of you. If you start to lose control of the car, let off the gas and calmly turn the steering wheel in the direction you want to go. Don’t slam on the brakes or jerk the steering wheel. Sudden shifts in momentum and direction can send your car out of control on slick roads.
Stay Informed, Be Alert
You should make a point of being aware of the local winter forecast. Forecasts might not always be totally accurate, but staying informed will help you plan accordingly. If you live in Minneapolis and surrounding area, it helps to sign up for automated winter weather alerts. If you are in St. Paul, check out their winter weather advisory information and sign up for alerts.
Driving and surviving in Minnesota winters can be easy if you:
- Are prepared
- Stay informed
- Learn how to drive and be safe in winter weather
- Help others, and
- Make your goal not just survival, but arrival.
AAMCO Minnesota for Winter Car Maintenance and Repairs
Come to AAMCO Minnesota for a Transmission Multi Point Vehicle Courtesy Check for your transmission and related systems. We’ll winterize your car and get you ready for the cold, snowy winter driving months ahead. We can handle all your scheduled car maintenance and repairs, from oil changes to factory recommended maintenance.
Other Articles About Car Maintenance & Repair
Watch this video and learn why there is only one place to go – AAMCO. We’re the transmission experts with over 50 years of experience rebuilding and replacing transmissions, and all their 800 pieces. We’ve fixed over 40 million transmissions – way more than our competitors. And we offer a lifetime warranty. Because we have the skill to fix an 800-piece transmission, we can easily fix the rest of your car – brakes, shocks, mufflers, even your engine. Lots of things can make your engine light come on. Today it can be hard to tell what’s wrong with your car, especially if it’s your transmission. Our technicians are trained to keep up with the complex engineering of today’s cars. So, next time something goes wrong with your transmission or any other part of your car, bring it to your local AAMCO.