Prepare Your Car for Winter Weather in Pittsburgh!

While we all may have a favorite local meteorologist,  predicting the weather can be an educated guessing game that includies freezing temperatures, snow, and something in between that they like to call a “wintery mix.” One  guarantee during the winter is that our pal Jay Obertance at Rohrich Mazda will take care of all your winterizing car needs with some helpful tips. 

Jay says to start with the basics like a snow brush. “Get out there and brush your car off. Don’t be the person sitting with the defroster on high for 20 mins or the one driving with a “peekaboo” hole.”   All of the new Mazdas come standard with a remote start,  and at the press of a button from your phone, you won’t even need to clear some of the snow and ice. That said, you still need to get out there for a little bit with your snow brush and clean off that roof and hood.  

Second, it’s never a bad idea to carry a set of jumper cables. Cold weather is hard on your car battery, so it’s always good to have a plan just in case something comes up. “I can’t tell you how many times my friends and even neighbors have called me for a ‘jump start’, said Jay.  

Third.. tequila. “If I’m stranded and the ship is going down, you best believe I’m going down smashed. Besides, people on the Titanic did it to stay warm, then so can I..” Jay said. While that might not help winterize your vehicle, it sure will help if you don’t use Jay’s first two tips.  

If you own one of our Mazda’s equipped with I-active all wheel drive, you’re already in luck when it comes to winter in Pittsburgh. With this vehicle, you’re driving one of the most advanced, all wheel drive systems in the marketplace to help get you going when the going gets rough. “The only modification I could recommend would be a good set of snow tires, for the ones that are out everyday driving, no matter what the weather brings,” said Jay. Making sure your tires are ready for winter is extremely important. Jay emphasized this with this example that he has used with many of his customers, “Summer tires are like dress shoes. Try running on an icy surface with dress shoes. *Actually don’t, you may fall and get hurt.* All season tires, which nearly 95% of all vehicles have, are like tennis shoes. They are way better suited to grip and get you going. But, snow tires are like spiky cleats. They REALLY grip.”  

Sidenote when it comes to tires and all-wheel drive: AWD is a great benefit, but it’s important to know that AWD just gets you going. “It does NOT, in any way, affect the ability to steer or stop in inclement conditions,” Jay said. On the other hand, snow tires will absolutely allow your vehicle to stop quickly, and maneuver much safer on slick surfaces. If you do a lot of driving, it’s highly recommended that you buy a good set of snow tires from our service center. It truly could be the difference between you and an accident. 

Finally, the easiest tip that you can take when it comes to driving during winter.. SLOW DOWN! “Many accidents caused by losing control, or hitting another object all have 1 thing in common, which is too fast for the conditions,” said Jay. If you’re traveling out and the forecast can be challenging, give yourself extra time to get to your destination and slow down. A helpful tip from Jay when traveling out of town in the winter months is to plan ahead. “I fill the car up with gas, grab my favorite Starbucks, and venture out. That way if the weather gets bad, I have a car full of gas, my favorite beverage to enjoy and some good music to jam too.”  

At the end of the winter day, prepare for the unpredictable when it comes to Pittsburgh weather. Always have your snow brush handy, keep those jumper cables packed in the trunk, get yourself a good set of winter tires and finally, SLOW DOWN. You could also pack an unopened bottle of tequila in the trunk, but we highly recommend everything else before that. Safe travels this winter season!  

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