Oh no, SNOW!
It seems every winter the same question is asked, should I clean the snow off my car before driving? For most of us, a click of the remote start and a quick flick of the wiper blades is all that is done before taking a journey though winter wonder land, assuming the snow will just fall off the car during the drive. However, you should most defiantly spend a few extra minutes making sure your car is completely clear of snow before starting your commute and here are a few quick reasons why:
1.) Visibility – When you leave snow on your car, you can almost bet it’s covering up something important. It’s illegal to have anything obstructing your field of vision while behind the wheel. It’s also illegal to have anything covering up your license plate, brake lights, turn signals, head lights etc. Driving with any of those covered with snow could lead to a ticket or the potential for an accident if another driver is unable to see you signal to switch lanes or brake lights when you’re coming to a stop.
2.) Technology – On most Acura’s there are a handful of sensors on the body of the car, used for satellite radio, cruise control, lane control, parking assist, etc. If any of these sensors are covered with snow it could lead to the features not working correctly because the sensors are not able to analyze driving conditions properly. A few examples would be snow covering the “adaptive cruise control” sensor when this happens and you engage cruise control it could misinterpret the snow as a vehicle on the road and cause your cruise control not to function properly. Or perhaps you’re trying to back your car into a parking spot, but the parking sensors are covered with snow causing the alarm to constantly sound giving no indication of clear distance behind your vehicle.
3.) Safety – Probably the most important. If you get in your vehicle without cleaning off snow its possible for the snow to be frozen over, and once your vehicle gets up to speed it will start to shed small piece of ice and snow. It’s possible for some of these pieces to be large enough to cause damage to anyone following you. I’ve personally been behind a few vehicles in my lifetime that were littering chunks of snow and ice all over my car and road it can be quite the scary situation especially if it’s still raining or snowing out.
4.) Overall vehicle performance – When you drive around with your vehicle covered it snow and ice it’s not going to perform as well as it would on a warm sunny day. You may notice reduced MPG (due to weight and drag of snow and ice). You may also notice a difference when accelerating and stopping, as snow builds up on the undercarriage and around the wheels it will cause more resistance on all the moving components which could result in decreased performance and safety of your vehicle.
5.) Appearance – Ice is hard, ice is sharp. Although most Acura’s have a very sophisticated clear coat to protect the paint sometimes scrapes and scratches happen. In the case of snow and ice it’s possible that while falling off the back of your vehicle while driving it’s also causing damage to the paint. Most cities also have some sort of chemical or variation of salt that they will put on the roads to help with snow and ice. These substances can be very harmful if left on your vehicle for an extended period of time. The substances will bond with the water after it’s melted the snow, and if you let it to continuously build up on your vehicle over time it will start to get into any cracks in the paint, eating the metal from the inside out causing rust. Have you ever driven down the road and start thinking to yourself “why is the bottom of that car rusted so bad?” it could be many things causing it, but the most common is salt buildup after the winter months.
We hope this article was helpful for your winter driving, if you have any more questions regarding snow and the performance of your vehicle feel free to contact your local Acura store where we are always more than happy to help!