Car Care: Be Prepared for Winter Conditions


Taking the proper precautions can make all the difference

With winter in full swing, it’s important to take the correct precautions for driving during this potentially dangerous time of year.

In winter, nighttime comes earlier and days are often gloomy, so you need every edge you can get on the road. In many regions, even those that don’t see much snow or experience frigid temperatures, the change of seasons is a good time to make sure you’ve taken some steps to keep you safe on the road.

Stay visible. When there are fewer hours of daylight, you rely more heavily upon your vehicle’s lighting system. Have your battery and charging system checked for proper operation. A low-charging level or weak battery can lead to reduced output from the headlights, putting you at a disadvantage for spotting and avoiding obstacles. In addition, you need to  ensure that all of your car’s other lights are operating properly, including  the tail and stop lights, blinkers, position lamps and even reverse lamps. These lights help you stay visible to other cars on the road and clue them into your next move, thereby increasing your chances of being spotted.

Check your battery. Your battery is extremely important in helping your car start during cold temperatures. When the temperature drops to freezing or below, vehicles have a harder time getting going. Oil runs thicker, which makes the engine harder to turn over for the starter motor. Battery output dips with the temperature, too, so it’s important to make sure yours has enough power to make it to the starting circuit, and that there’s enough in reserve. A battery that turns the engine slowly in the cold may just need its terminals cleaned, or there may be a cable in need of repair or replacement. This is a problem that will strike its hardest at the absolute worst moment.

Check the tires. Your tire pressure can drop by up to 2 pounds per square inch (psi) for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit, which means you could be driving around with seriously underinflated tires, thereby making handling less predictable. In regions that get significant winter precipitation, it’s a good idea to invest in a set of winter tires for an edge in turning and stopping when it’s sloppy and slick.

Check your coolant. It may sound counter-intuitive to make sure the engine cooling system, and the coolant itself, are up to snuff when it’s cold outside. But consider this: the cooling system provides your cabin heat, and coolant is a mix of alcohol, water, and additives to prevent low-temperature freezing of the engine.

Prepare for emergencies. Carrying a few simple things can make a big difference, too. Pack a blanket so you can stay warm without having to run the engine if you get stuck for a prolonged period of time. A flashlight and some extra batteries, extra window washer, a compact shovel and even a small bag of sand for emergency traction are all good items to keep in your car. An emergency kit with jumper cables, road flares and a couple of basic tools will go a long way toward keeping you alive and safe in the worst circumstances.

Winter needn’t be something to be afraid of if you plan ahead. Having a thorough inspection by a qualified mechanic and keeping an emergency kit in your car will go a long way to keeping you safe on the road this winter.

This article is presented by Jack Maxton Chevrolet in Worthington, Ohio.

Take a Drive in your Chevy: 4 Best Places to Ring in the New Year in Ohio


Four ways to celebrate the start of 2017 in Ohio

With another New Year’s Eve on the horizon, it becomes time once again to start setting plans for Dec. 31. If you live in or plan on visiting Ohio when 2016 crosses into 2017, you will be excited to learn that there is no shortage of things to do around the Buckeye State. The following are just a few examples of plans to make in Ohio this New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Eve 2017 Bash at Michaud’s Catering and Event Center

Michaud’s Catering and Event Center in Cleveland is celebrating the start of 2017 this year with its annual New Year’s Eve Bash. Tickets for the event are $55 per person and includes admission from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. In that time, attendees will be able to enjoy seven rooms of entertainment, which includes four live bands, a DJ and two comedy clubs. The event is BYOB, but the center provides mixers, soda, juice, cups, ice and all other accoutrements for your beverage-enjoyment needs. Food will be provided in the form of appetizers from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. and a full buffet from 6:30-9 p.m. For more information on this year’s event, visit http://michaudscatering.com/new-years-2017.

New Year’s Eve Blast at Fountain Square

Fountain Square is where Cincinnati gets together to celebrate, and New Year’s Eve is no exception. The annual New Year’s Eve Blast takes place from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. on New Year’s Eve and includes everything from music and dancing, to ice skating and delicious meals from local food trucks. Lucky attendees will have the opportunity to play games for prizes on the Fountain Square stage every 30 minutes, but celebrating with friends and loved ones at midnight is guaranteed. To learn more about this year’s event, visit http://myfountainsquare.com/event/new-years-eve-blast-2.

New Year’s Eve: American Vistas

The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance presents its annual New Year’s Eve celebration with a live performance that will include dancers from the Dayton Ballet, singers from the Dayton Opera and the musical accompaniment of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Starting at 8 p.m. and ending at 10 p.m. with a colorful balloon drop, the event has become a city staple that brings jubilant throngs to the Schuster Center in droves. Admission prices range from $25 – $74, and seats are likely to fill up quickly; to get your tickets, visit http://daytonperformingarts.org/philharmonic-performance/new-years-eve-american-vistas.

Nelsonville New Year’s Eve Train and Fireworks

One of the more unique New Year’s Eve celebrations takes place aboard the Hocking Scenic Railway in Nelsonville. The annual New Year’s Eve Train and Fireworks display starts at 10:30 p.m. and runs for about two hours, carrying passengers from the Nelsonville depot to East Logan and back, all while fireworks ring in the New Year. Tickets are available for $20 – $35 per person depending on your choice of section. Only adults will be permitted in the Wine and Cheese section, so attendees with children are advised to purchase for the Pizza and Pop section; no other alcohol will be permitted onboard, but outside food and non-alcoholic beverages are permitted. To learn more, visit http://hockinghills.com/events/Dec-31-2016_New_Years_Eve_Train_and_Fireworks.html.

Ohio is not just the Heartland of America, but it is also one of the best places to celebrate both the passage of another year gone by and the start of a new beginning.

This article is presented by Jack Maxton Chevrolet in Worthington, Ohio.