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McBlog: Keeping Your Cool in the Snow

Our intrepid columnist offers some winter driving tips.

by on Dec.30, 2013

It's been a tough winter. Our expert offers tips for driving safely on snowy roads.

Thirteen Vermont winters and a class win in the Monte Carlo rally might lend me cred as a driver in snow. However, probably even more useful, and certainly more concentrated, are a number of sessions I had over the years at the Bridgestone Winter Driving School in Steamboat Springs CO. (winterdrive.com.)

Learning to drive in conditions of limited traction is the most valuable experience for acquiring car control on any surface. Go take a day’s basic lesson on snow. Or if you’re already hot on the cold stuff stretch your skills with the session suitable for winter rally wannabes. Then treat yourself to a day on the welcoming slopes of Steamboat and make it a winter holiday for the books. Or Facebook.

Driving Tips!

But what I’m writing at the moment are random notes on driving in snow, my experiences of it and my suggestions for those struggling with it this winter. Judging from what’s on my TV unfamiliarity is breeding undue contempt.  (Why is a video of someone’s van waltzing inexorably down an incline into a waiting tangle of ovine cars so mesmerizing?)

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Gaining Traction: Mercedes Expands 4Matic Line-Up

AWD system to be available on 21 different models.

by on Mar.05, 2012

The Mercedes C350 Coupe is one of 21 models getting the maker's newest 4Matic system.

Mercedes-Benz proudly claims to building the industry’s very first all-wheel-drive vehicle almost 100 years ago, a giant touring car used for hunting parties in Africa.

It started building four-wheel-drive systems for modern passenger cars in 1985, and has used the 4MATIC moniker on each succeeding generation.

Until recently, a luxury buyer looking for a Mercedes with traction going to all four wheels had a fairly limited option set. But that’s about to change – the German maker soon to make an all-new version of the technology available on 21 of its different products.

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The smaller, lighter, more compact fourth-generation 4MATIC system will debut shortly in the S 350 BlueTec diesel sedan ($93,425), the CLS 550 four-door coupe ($74,675), the new E 350 coupe ($53,175), and the new C 350 coupe  ($45,245), adding about $2000 to the price of  the rear-drive versions of each model.

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McBlog: Keeping Your Cool in the Snow

Our intrepid columnist offers some winter driving tips - and recollections of icy roads past.

by on Jan.18, 2011

Winter driving can be fun - if you develop some basic skills, explains Denise McCluggage.

Thirteen Vermont winters and a class win in the Monte Carlo rally might lend me cred as a driver in snow. However, probably even more useful, and certainly more concentrated, are a number of sessions I had over the years at the Bridgestone Winter Driving School in Steamboat Springs CO.

Learning to drive in conditions of limited traction is the most valuable experience for acquiring car control on any surface. Go take a day’s basic lesson on snow. Or if you’re already hot on the cold stuff stretch your skills with the session suitable for winter rally wannabes. Then treat yourself to a day on the welcoming slopes of Steamboat and make it a winter holiday for the books. Or Facebook.

Your All-Season News Source!

But what I’m writing at the moment are random notes on driving in snow, my experiences of it and my suggestions for those struggling with it this winter. Judging from what’s on my TV unfamiliarity is breeding undue contempt.  (Why is a video of someone’s van waltzing inexorably down an incline into a waiting tangle of ovine cars so mesmerizing?)

When I was the ski editor for the now long-gone New York Herald Tribune I spent all winter attending all the ski areas of upstate New York and New England.  Sometimes a trip to Colorado and Utah. I suppose someone had to do it. I wrote five columns a week and covered college ski races on the weekends. (I’m glad I was the one who had to do it.)

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Preparing Cars, SUVs, and Trucks for Winter

There's more involved than checking the antifreeze...

by on Oct.20, 2009

Tire pressure drops as the temperaure declines.

Tire pressure drops as the temperature declines.

When there is a chill in the air and the baseball playoffs are snowed out, it’s time for motorists to prepare their vehicles for the upcoming cold-weather season. There are key components that frequently come to mind when thinking of winter car care such as antifreeze and the vehicle’s battery. However, there are other components that are susceptible to wear or failures when the temperature drops that are too frequently overlooked.

“Properly preparing your vehicle for upcoming winter weather is essential for safe driving and will greatly decrease the chances of your vehicle leaving you stranded in the cold,” said John Nielsen, director of AAA Approved Auto Repair and Auto Buying Services.

As motorists prepare their vehicles for winter weather, AAA offers the following list of frequently forgotten maintenance items that should be addressed:

  • Antifreeze: Antifreeze protection is the first item that comes to mind when most people think of winter vehicle maintenance. A 50/50 solution of engine coolant and water will provide the necessary antifreeze capability.

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