Winter has arrived: Time to Winterize your Volvo

As you read this blog today, you just went through almost-zero degree temperature in the Richmond, Virginia Metropolitan area.

Your kitchen and bathroom cabinets were open last night to let warm air caress your pipes. Your spigots were on slow drips so that your pipes wouldn’t freeze.

winter wonderland

Area schools opened late or were closed altogether.  People were encouraged to avoid going outside. We had to wrap ourselves in layers, put on stocking caps and scarves and mittens before heading out to start our Volvos and head to work.

Yes, winter has hit Central Virginia. You were prepared at home but was your Volvo ready for it?

If not, there are several things you can do to make sure your Volvo makes it through this frigid winter (which may be the coldest in twenty years) with minimal problems and lower repair bills.

Here is our list for “Winterizing your Volvo”:

1. Check your tires

On a rear wheel drive Volvo, the two tires with the most tread should be on the rear for traction. If you have a front wheel drive Volvo, the tires with the most tread should be on the front for better traction.

2.  Check your belts

All drive belts and hoses on your Volvo should be checked for wear and aging.  As temperatures hit below thirty degrees, a worn belt or hose is three times more likely to blow out or break during the warm up from twenty five- thirty degrees to one hundred eighty-one hundred ninety five degrees in a matter of approximately five to eight minutes after the engine is started.

3.  Check the windshield wipers and washer fluid

Check your Volvo wiper blades for age.   Those nights where temperatures get below freezing, raise the blades off of the windshield when park your vehicle for the night so they do not freeze to the windshield.
Also, check the washer fluid and top it off as needed.  Your windshield washer solvent should be mixed seventy five percent (75%) solvent and twenty five percent (25%) water.  At thirty two degree temperatures, when vehicle starts to move the wind factor could be another ten to fifteen degrees colder.  If the solvent is not strong enough it will freeze when contacts the windshield.

4.  Check the coolant

Antifreeze should be protected down to at least zero (0) degrees.  If your Volvo sits one to two weeks at a time then we recommend ten degrees and below protection.

If you do this for your Volvo, you can minimize any damage your car may receive from whatever this winter weather can do to it. Or, if you want, you can call Paul’s “The Volvo Specialist” at (804) 276-6161 and we can winterize your Volvo for you.

Visit our website at www.pauls-volvo.com for more information or to arrange a winterization for your Volvo. (Special thanks to Nikki Glenn of Paul’s “The Volvo Specialist” for her technical assistance in the writing of this blog.)

“Incredible but True Volvo Safety Stories” (Part 1): Not just a Volvo legend, but a Volvo reality

Ask anyone the question: What is Volvo most know for? 

Some may say reliability, endurance or dependability. 

Most people, however, will tell you one word: Safety.

No matter how bad the weather or how dangerous the road, Volvo owners have an almost-invincible feeling of safety because they believe their car will protect them. (This author can tell you that I never worry about accidents when we’re traveling in our Volvo V70. It is a “tank.”) 

In fact, we have three “Incredible but True Volvo Safety Stories” about how Volvos protected its passengers during actual, documented accidents.  (All stories are from Paul’s “The Volvo Specialist” customers and they have asked us to share them with the blog readers.) 

First story: About thirty years ago, a group of teenagers in the Richmond (Virginia) area were traveling in a 1984 Volvo 240. The owner of the Volvo, a teenage girl, let her friend drive the car. Evidently, he wasn’t used the Volvo steering ratio and took the corner too fast.  

The break-neck cornering sent the Volvo flying, flipping the car five times and eventually landing on its roof. The rear window popped out and the passengers escaped through it. The Volvo was a total loss. Nikkis wrecked 1984 Volvo

Amazingly, all four of the teen passengers weren’t injured, in spite of the fact that not a single passenger wore a seat belt! Youthful recklessness sent them all to the hospital and they were quite fortunate there no injuries or fatalities. You read it right: No injuries. Not even a scratch. 

To this day, the teen girl, now adult woman, still cannot believe that she and her friends survived. She said that she learned something from this incident:

1.     Don’t let your friends drive your car!

2.     Don’t ever recklessly push a car’s safety.

3.     Volvos are incredibly safe car. The steel cage in the         Volvo 240 saved their lives.

Second story: One of our Paul’s “The Volvo Specialist” customers sent us this brief accident report on that happened in her recent accident  in her 2004 Volvo S60 (see photo to right):

I was t-boned by a car that was going at least 40 mph.  My car was totaled but the interior cabin was completely unaffected. I didn't even have a scratch. Before the accident occurred, I had been considering buying a new Honda or Chevy. After the accident, I am a Volvo customer.Customer accident Volvo Pic#1

And, finally, one last Volvo accident story from another Paul’s customer (no photo available):

My son was driving on I-95 going approx 70 mph in South Carolina when he slammed on his brakes to avoid a sudden stop in front of him. The car behind them (another Volvo) did not even apply their brakes and hit our 850 sedan in the back end (which was higher than the front end with the sudden stop). They were also traveling at about 70 mph. Our car flipped over twice and ended upside down. Both my wife and son were wearing seat belts. They came out of this with minor scratches. Our Volvo was totaled but actually looked pretty good considering. Hate to think what would have happened with a lesser vehicle. 

I am definitely a Volvo customer FOR LIFE. 

That legendary safety is not just a thing of the past. Volvo has retained the reputation as one of the safest cars driven. In fact, US News and World Report just rated the 2014 Volvo S60 a “5-Star” (highest) rating in all categories:  overall, frontal crash, side crash and rollover. (See http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/Volvo_S60/Safety/

Additionally, the 2014 Volvo XC90 just earned the International Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick+ Award for good performance in each of the Institute’s crash-worthiness evaluations. The awards continue to come in but we have only limited space in this blog. 

The bottom line is this: Volvos are the safest vehicles you can drive. But always, always drive your Volvo within the speed limits and obey all traffic laws.

Yes, Volvos are safe but never, ever push that safety. Be a smart and wise Volvo driver so you can enjoy this amazing vehicle for many years to come. 

BTW: There are more “Incredible but True Volvo Safety Stories” coming in future Paul’s “The Volvo Specialist” blogs. If you have a story (with photos, if possible) please contact our office at the number below. We’d love to hear it!

For more information on Volvo safety and all things Volvo, please call the expert technicians at Paul’s “The Volvo Specialist” at (804) 276-6161 or visit our website, www.pauls-volvo.com.

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