The topic of most conversations around the Midwest lately has been centered around cold and snow. There has been a lot of both, and as we hear people talk about what they know, we are often confronted with some old and outdated strategies for dealing with winter driving.
For example, sandbags or other ballast. How many people do you know that still insist on carrying extra weight in their trunk to improve traction on slippery roads? Well, while this was a solid idea in “the old days”, it makes less sense now simply because cars are designed and engineered differently than they were 20 to 30 years ago. To be more precise, while older cars were more heavy in front, their drive wheels were in back, so adding weight to the rear gave the vehicle more traction. Today, most cars are either front-wheel or all-wheel drive, and weight is distributed more efficiently, thereby making additional weight in the rear not only unnecessary, but in some cases counter-productive.
Another practice that has probably outlived it’s usefulness is starting your car every few hours in extreme cold to increase the chances that it will start when you need it. While you may have a problem starting your car after it sits for a few days in sub-zero temperatures, the reality is…if your vehicle is newer or well maintained and driven daily, this practice is likely just a waste of gas.
More myth-busting info can be found at: http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/repair/4301503
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