You may find it hard to believe, but at Clancy’s Service Centre, they would really prefer NOT to see you for every little thing that happens or goes wrong with your car. Do that, and at some point it’s possible you may begin to resent Clancy’s – through no fault of their own.
Consequently, Jim and Laura Clancy would like to pass on a few words of wisdom – things you can easily do to avoid “unnecessary” trips to the auto shop. Time to pick up some better driving habits.
Always keep both hands on the wheel – especially while actually driving. Many of us have the tendency to drive with one hand on the wheel and hang onto a coffee, or even a cell phone with the other. Stop that – immediately! Drive with both hands on the wheel. Remember, the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock position. Why nine and three? Well, a few years ago, before the advent of airbags, 10 and two was considered the optimum hand position on the steering wheel. At nine and three, if the driver air bag deploys, neither hand nor arm will be forced out of the way. You’ll be better prepared if you have to make a sudden manoeuvre.
Avoid “fishtailing”. More common with rear-wheel drive vehicles, any car can fishtail in slippery conditions, rendering it out of control and potentially heading straight for oncoming traffic. This is known as “over steer”. To overcome this, steer into the direction of the skid and gently apply the accelerator to regain control.
In addition, avoid “plowing”. Perhaps more commonly known as “understeer” and happens most often in front-wheel drive cars. This is best avoided by slowing down before cornering.
Finally, avoid panic braking. Even though many new cars are equipped with anti-lock brakes (ABS), you may be driving a car with a conventional braking system. If you are, it’s important you don’t panic while braking on a slippery surface. Your wheels may lock-up, which increases your stopping distance. Avoid this by gently applying your brakes on-and-off, or “pumping” to allow your tires to grip to the road’s surface.