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Safety First: Driving a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter in Cold Weather

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a good all-weather vehicle that should serve you well during Abbotsford’s harsh winter. It provides the security that a heavy diesel van is meant to provide, yet it has the luxury that has become synonymous with the Mercedes-Benz brand. However, all of this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to be careful when driving during the winter.

Winter driving can be hard on even the most reliable vehicles, not to mention dangerous. If you plan to drive your Mercedes-Benz Sprinter throughout Abbotsford, Canada this winter, here are some tips that will help keep you safe.

Get Your Vehicle Checked Out Before Driving

The winters of Abbotsford can be especially harsh, so the last thing you want is to be driving a vehicle that isn’t ready for the road. Make sure you check out your headlights, windshield wipers, brakes and fluid levels before you drive anywhere. Remember that what might seem good enough for a clear summer day may not be appropriate for winter driving.

Be especially mindful of your vehicle’s brakes. It will take longer to stop when you’re driving on an icy road, so you should have your brake pads, calipers and brake fluid checked out before the temperature really starts to drop.

Be Careful When Braking

Of course, having reliable brakes doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know how to stop on an icy road. Many inexperienced winter drivers seem to think that slamming on their brakes will stop them in their tracks, but all that does is cause the wheels to lock and the vehicle to slide. Heavy vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter are harder to stop than smaller vehicles on an icy road, so be especially careful when you have to brake. Leave plenty of room between you and the car in front of you so you don’t have to stop too suddenly, and apply the brakes gently to slow to a stop.

Put Chains on All Four Tires

Tire chains may not be necessary if you stick to highways and suburban roads, but they will improve your traction if you drive in rural areas. You can technically get away with putting tire chains on one axle (your owner’s manual will help you determine where to apply them), but as a rule it’s much safer to put chains on all four of your tires. This will ensure that all four of your tires maintain enough traction to keep you from losing control.

Keep Your Fuel Tank Full

Diesel fuel has the tendency to lose its viscosity in extremely cold weather, especially if you don’t have that much in your tank. You can get winterized diesel fuel that prevents it from gelling, but in general it’s best to have as close to a full tank as possible at all times.

Take It Slow

Even after you’ve taken all the necessary precautions to keep you and your Mercedes-Benz Sprinter safe during the winter, you still won’t have the skill to drive as fast as you would if the roads were clear. Four wheel drive, tire chains and anti-lock brakes still won’t save you if you’re going too fast. When in doubt, slow down. You may not get where you want to go in a hurry, but at least you can be sure that you will make it there.

Collins Automotive

Family Owned Auto Shop, Serving Abbotsford, BC and surrounding area since 1993

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