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Winter, Your Vehicle, and Visibility

Winter, Your Vehicle, and Visibility - Motorwerkes - BMW Repairs Calgary

No matter how advanced your driving skills may be, or how well you take care of your BMW, there are other variables during winter that can present themselves on the road and cause trouble. The better you take care of your windows and understand visibility, the safer you’ll be!

Windows and Windshield

You may think that unless you’ve ended up with a crack or other conspicuous problem then you’re good to go, but there are many more things to consider. For instance, you should always pay attention to the condition of your wipers, as they’re working overtime in winter weather. Don’t scrape too hard when removing ice from glass, and never use hot water, as the abrupt temperature change can lead to cracks. Take advantage of your defrosters even before scraping, and keep glass surfaces as clean as possible so that you can see clearly.

Interior and Exterior Lights

Headlights not only help you see, but they also let other drivers see you. Slacking on headlight replacement is one of the more common causes of road hazard when it comes to visibility. Be conscious of how long you’ve had your current bulbs in and replace them accordingly. Keeping the plastic of each headlight and tail light assembly clean and free of debris is also important. Avoid using your brights when in a particularly snowy situation, as this can create a reflective glare that is dangerous in and of itself. Don’t forget that turning your dome light on when driving at night is also no a good idea.

Knowing the Weather

Planning ahead will serve you well in just about any circumstance. This is true for preventative maintenance and repairs, and it’s just as true for understanding the conditions of the road before you head out for the day. Check the weather and be mindful of any advisories. The more prepared you are, the safer your drive will be. Prior to getting in, starting up, and pulling away, be sure to clear your entire vehicle’s exterior of accumulated snow, not just the windshield and rear window. As usual, it’s wiser to avoid taking chances and instead stick to common sense!

There are many components to road safety, no matter what season you’re in. Whether it’s making smart choices on the road or in the garage, Motorwerkes is here to help you stay in the know. For maintenance, repairs, and more, call us at (403) 768-3165 to make an appointment today!

Understanding Traction and Stability Control

Understanding Traction and Stability Control - Motorwerkes - BMW Service Calgary

With rainier weather, wet leaves, and eventually ice and snow, the next few months call for a close look at some of BMW’s technologies for safer, more effective driving. Traction control and stability control are two perfect examples.

Dynamic Stability Control

The acronyms may be similar, but DSC and DTC are actually two different but related technologies implemented in your BMW. In fact, one can be considered as contained within the other. Dynamic Stability Control is the “brain” of your chassis that helps to improve safety and greater control in loose, wet, or rough road conditions. It is constantly receiving information from all over your vehicle through sensors, from the speeds of each wheel to lateral acceleration, yaw, gas pedal and steering input, and more. By monitoring all of this information and calculating them against a simulated ideal model, it’s capable of correcting your steering, brake pressure, and even engine power.

Dynamic Traction Control

Meanwhile, in many models, Dynamic Traction Control is a component of DSC that specializes in optimizing traction. It does so by closely monitoring your wheels and becoming active when it detects that loss of traction has occurred, such as on a wet road. While DSC works its magic by reducing engine power and autonomously applying brake force if necessary, DTC mostly gets the job done by allowing for a small but effective amounts of wheel slip and spin while collaborating with your DSC system to keep you in control. The combination of both systems is particularly useful when accelerating from a stop, rocking your vehicle out of a sticky situation, or going uphill in slippery conditions.

In Use

DSC is an integral part of your BMW, allowing for safe and precise driving in a wide range of conditions. As such, it’s activated by default. Turning it off is outlined in your manual, but this is generally not recommended, especially during fall and winter. Meanwhile, DTC usually needs to be switched on via a button on your dash. It’s highly important to maintain a balance between recognizing how well-engineered these systems are while not relying on them too heavily. You should utilize and trust them when they’re needed, but no technology is a substitute for smart and safe driving!

Traction, stability, and skilled driving are important year-round, but they’re particularly relevant this time of year. Keep your BMW in solid, safe condition with a detailed inspection. Call Motorwerkes at (403) 768-3167 to make an appointment!