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Getting your car winter-ready after the first Central Coast storm

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Posted at 11:31 PM, Dec 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-29 02:31:40-05

The first significant storm of the season is serving as a reminder for drivers to service their cars and make sure tires, brakes, windshield wipers and lights are in good shape.

The California Highway Patrol responded to more than 100 weather-related calls from Templeton to Buellton from Sunday 9 p.m. through Monday at 2 p.m.

“People driving too fast, spinning out, crashing into guardrails, spinning out, off the roadway, crashing into other vehicles,” CHP SLO Public Information Officer Mike Poekling said.

With this storm now behind us, Poelking said it's a good time to get your vehicle ready for the next one.

“This gives you a sufficient amount of time to do those things mechanically for your vehicle to make sure you are in the best situation possible,” Poelking said. “That would start with your tires. Making sure you have good tread depth to reduce the amount of hydroplaning."

Mechanics also say it's a good idea to check your windshield wipers because when you're not using them in the summer months they can dry up and crack.

Polishing your headlights can make it easier for you to see while it's raining, but also easier for other drivers to see you.

Local drivers are turning to places like Eagle Collision Repair in Arroyo Grande for winter maintenance.

“We had at least three or four [vehicles] dropped off today, just from the rain alone,” Eagle Collision Repair Manager Scott May said. “It seems to really get busy about this time when we start getting the weather. The first rain is the worst because the oil comes up off the ground and it's so slippery and people don't realize that."

May says don't forget to check your brakes too.

“In wet weather, you're not going to want to hammer on your brakes because you will start hydroplaning or sliding, but you want to make sure they are still working and operating."

However, the biggest tip for safe driving is to slow down.

“Wear your seat belt, allow extra drive time for your commute, and by all means, slow down,” Poelking said.