With millions of travelers heading out on the road this winter to visit relatives or to take that last minute vacation, professional driver, commentator and renowned auto expert Bruno Massel joined me to share his tips for being prepared and safe while driving this winter.
Candace Rose: What are the first things that drivers should think about when it comes to winter driving?
Bruno Massel: “First things first, slow down when you’re out on the road this winter for you and everybody else out on the road. And the other thing is really you need to do a vehicle inspection before we get too far into winter. You want to check things like your engine, your tires, your headlights, your windshield wipers- all those things are critical when it comes to having a safe winter driving season.”
Candace Rose: And let’s start with the engine, what should drivers check first?
Bruno Massel: “You know, it’s the oil. It’s the lifeblood of your engine. You want to make sure that it’s topped off and that you’ve kept up with your oil change intervals. Upgrading the motor oil is really the cheapest and easiest way to improve the performance and protect your car. Now if you switch to a super premium like Royal Purple, you may even get better gas mileage, as well as more horsepower. Now if you combine that with a quality filter like Royal Purple’s and you can go up to 12,000 miles between oil changes. That’s going to save you a lot of time and money in the long run.”
Candace Rose: And you mentioned checking headlights, what’s the most important thing we should check first?
Bruno Massel: “A lot of people, what it is, is they overlook them. They don’t pay attention. The only time they replace them is when they burn out. Well, I’m here to tell you that headlights dim over time. You can lose up to 20% of your power in just two years. If you haven’t replaced them recently or you don’t remember the last time you replaced them, go ahead and do so and use a quality product from Sylvania. The Sylvania Silverstar Ultra headlight bulbs. They’re going to give you an increase of up to 50% brighter illumination than the worn headlight bulbs in your car right now. It’ll improve field of vision to 40% more down field vision and 40% side road vision than a traditional worn out bulbs. And to put it into perspective a little bit, it’s about half the length of a football field, which is huge.”
Candace Rose: Driving in winter conditions can be very rough. Do you have any advice for those of us who will be on the road this season?
Bruno Massel: “Yeah. Slow down is the biggest thing I can advise, and there’s a couple other little tips I’d like to give you guys- simple things that everyone can do. First things first is your windshield wiper blades, make sure that they’re not worn out or torn. Top off your windshield wiper fluid, that can save you when you’re going down on the road and a truck pulls up along side of you. Other little things- you’ve got a tire pressure gauge right here (please see video for details), check the tire pressure. It’ll help prevent against blowouts, give you better traction and increase fuel economy (believe it or not!).
Also, things you want to throw in your trunk- a good set of jumper cables, an ice scraper, a flashlight. I also suggest a safety kit, so if you get caught in a winter storm you’re going to be covered. Things like this will go a long way when driving this winter.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?