Driving in the wintertime can be challenging for every car owner. Treacherous weather conditions and icy roads can be anything from inconvenient to dangerous. Hybrid owners may feel some anxiety that their vehicle will not perform as well as non-hybrids, but hybrids are no more difficult to drive in the wintertime than any other car. Here are some tips on how to drive your hybrid in snowy weather conditions:
- Preparation is key.
Making sure your hybrid is prepared to drive through snow and ice will give you a much better peace of mind when the first snowstorm hits. Most hybrids have low rolling resistance tires that boost fuel economy, but these tires don’t have great traction. Switch out your tires for snow tires, and be sure that the treads haven’t worn down. If your treads seem worn down, schedule an appointment to get your tires replaced!
- Know what to expect with a hybrid in the snow.
Because your hybrid’s engine is constantly moving to keep your car heated to prevent frost, you can expect a significant drop in fuel efficiency, as well as battery capacity. This means you must be especially diligent in keeping your vehicle charged, as well as the gas tank at least half full. Not only is this important in the case of an emergency, but a heavier gas tank gives your car better traction in snow and ice. You may find yourself needing to replace energy more often, but this is normal, and once the snow melts, you will find your hybrid performing as it usually is.
- Don’t use cruise control.
You may be used to driving with cruise control to boost your hybrid’s fuel economy but this can be a dangerous practice in the wintertime. On an icy surface, the automatic speeding and slowing that cruise control makes can cause your vehicle to slip and skid. Keep constant control of your car, and be sure to slow down!
Don’t be afraid of driving your hybrid in snowy weather! As long as you drive defensively and take good care of your vehicle, you will have nothing to worry about. If you do have any questions about driving hybrids in inclement weather, be sure to talk to the hybrid experts at Cleveland Hybrid.