How to Prep for Holiday Season Driving

October 11th, 2019 by

A man is behind the wheel of a car during a big winter storm in Albany, NY.

Fall is here and fading fast, with winter on rapid approach. If you’re at all a local of the Albany, NY, area then you already know just how intense the winter season can be. Sure, with winter comes the joy and festivities of the holiday season, but it also brings some pretty extreme weather conditions. From icy roads to abnormal weather, winter can pose a lot of significant challenges to your overall driving experience. Fortunately, at DePaula Ford we’re more than just a top-ranking Ford dealership in the Albany, NY area, we’re also a professional resource for all of your automotive needs. Whether you’re looking to prepare your current car for the winter season or are interested in trading in your current vehicle for a more ‘winter-ready’ vehicle, we’ve got you covered. The winter season can be pretty demanding, but with our expertise by your side, we can ensure you roll on into the New Year with complete peace of mind behind the wheel.

Winters in New York State

All across the state of New York, the winter season is not something to be taken lightly. Drivers from the streets of Manhattan to the rural countryside of Voorheesville, all understand just how intense the winter can be, and just how demanding winter driving can be for your vehicle. Through the month of January, for instance, temperatures can drop to as low as 26 degrees Fahrenheit on average. The year to year average for snowfall sits somewhere around twenty-five inches, which tips the scales near the US average of twenty-eight inches per year. Regardless of where you live in New York state, preparing for the winter season is incredibly important.

Before the worst of the cold season hits, our auto experts often recommend a variety of maintenance services and checkups that you should get for your vehicle. Things like tire inspections and fluid changes can all make a huge difference in your wintertime driving experience, and save you the trouble of potentially being stranded on the side of the road with an ill-prepared vehicle stuck in the snow.

How You Can Prepare for New York Winter

There are a number of things you can do to prepare your vehicle for the worst the winter season has to throw at both you and your vehicle. For one, we suggest that drivers have their tires inspected thoroughly by one of our parts specialists. Your tires are an essential component of your vehicle, providing traction with the pavement and holding up the total weight of the vehicle. Over time, this significant demand can put a lot of wear and tear on your tires, which can lessen their ability to keep all four wheels planted on the road. Snow, rain, and ice can all pose a challenge even for the most well-maintained set of tires, let alone a set that has been neglected. If you let your tires fall into disrepair, you can increase the risk of hydroplaning, an effect where your tires can no longer keep traction with the road and skid out of control.

When you bring your car in for a full tire inspection, we’ll check for the tread depth of your tires. The deeper your tread, the better the tire can grip the road. If your tire’s tread is shallow, we’ll suggest replacing the tires with a more winter-ready set. Another thing to keep in mind is the type of tire that you install on your vehicle. Not all tires are fully equipped to handle the rough terrain of winter in New York, and while your standard street tire may hold up throughout the rest of the year, you may find yourself facing some significant challenges by the time winter strikes. For this reason, our tire and parts experts often suggest that you swap in those standard street tires for all-weather or all-terrain tires that are better equipped for the varying temperatures and obstacles of wintertime driving.

Your tires aren’t the only component that you should have inspected and potentially swapped before the worst of winter hits, as your motor fluids also share a similar level of performance. Coolant, windshield wiper fluid, and motor oil all have temperature grades wherein they operate well at a specific range of temperatures. So, before the worst of winter arrives, we suggest that you visit our services and parts department to have your motor fluids swapped out or checked.

A white 2020 Ford Explorer, popular among 4WD vehicles at Ford Dealerships in Albany, NY, is driving on a winter day.

While motor fluids and tires can make all the difference in your winter driving experience, you can also potentially trade-in your current vehicle for a more winter-ready option. At DePaula Ford, we offer a wide selection of vehicles from rugged SUVs to snow-ready pickup trucks, and it might be a good idea to purchase something that is altogether better equipped for winter in Albany.

What to Look for in a Winter-Ready Car

Taking on freak snowstorms, below-freezing temperatures, and icy roads is a tall order. Fortunately, Ford has a diverse family lineup wherein some members are more than adequately equipped for this kind of driving. There are a variety of factors that go into making a great winter-ready car, truck, or SUV. One thing to look out for is a solid all-wheel-drive (AWD) or four-wheel-drivetrain (4WD). Both of these drivetrain options provide power to all four wheels so as to provide greater traction with the road, and superior handling when taking on snow, rain, or ice. While AWD and 4WD both function by very different mechanisms, they are considered by our automotive experts as a fantastic, more capable alternative to the standard rear-wheel or front-wheel-drivetrain.

Ground clearance is another characteristic that can make for some great winter driving. The ground clearance of your vehicle is equivalent to the amount of space that separates the ground from the underside of your car. If your car has greater ground clearance, you have a lesser chance of scrapping your undercarriage against packed snow and other winter obstacles.

There are a number of Ford brand vehicles that meet the mark in terms of winter preparedness. One such vehicle is the 2020 Ford Explorer. This beefy SUV offers up a grippy four-wheel-drivetrain while at the same time sporting some pretty decent ground clearance. The 2020 Ford Explorer also comes with a variety of engine options, including a four-cylinder and two six-cylinder variants.

Alternatively, there are models of the 2020 Ford F-150 that wouldn’t break a sweat taking on wintertime driving. Equipped with a 4×4 drivetrain and a wide array of robust engine options, the 2020 Ford F-150 is no lightweight, and will certainly have no trouble taking on the worst an Albany winter has to offer.

Getting Winter Ready at DePaula Ford

DePaula Ford is more than just a place to purchase a wide range of Ford brand vehicles, but it is also a dealership that is passionate about customer satisfaction. We’re not afraid of taking that extra step with our customers whether they’re looking to winterize their existing vehicle or find a more capable alternative to take home. The Ford brand is filled with vehicles that would have no issue taking on the New York winter, and our dealers and auto experts are excited to show you everything that the Ford brand truck and SUV can do.