Winter weather brings a whole new set of challenges for drivers every year. This is not the type of surface you drive on the rest of the year, so you constantly have to regain your "winter wheels" to drive safely. Unfortunately, you may still end up doing a "cheeri-o" on an ice patch or sliding into a deep, snow-filled ditch. Whatever the snow and ice cause you to do, you should still have your vehicle checked out afterward. Here are some examples of what these minor winter incidents and accidents can do to your vehicle and why you should have your vehicle checked regardless.
Spin-outs or "Cheeri-os"
In some areas of the country, people call this movement a "donut." In other parts of the country, it is just called a "spin-out." It has even been called a "cheeri-o" because your vehicle does a complete 360-degree turn. Whatever you call it, when ice is the cause it becomes very dangerous.
Even when you do not hit anybody else or anything, the damage it does to your vehicle always goes unnoticed. Your brakes, tires, wheels, and axles are all affected by this incident/accident, plus your alignment is completely thrown off. If you still have to take your vehicle in for a seasonal oil change, ask the auto repair technician to check out the aforementioned parts of your vehicle to make sure they are okay.
Slid into a Snow-Filled Ditch
Sliding into a snow-filled ditch along the highway is worse than sliding into a water-filled ditch. Any water that was in the ditch before it froze is still there, creating the worst possible surface for your tires to touch. The snow hides several large rocks or roadside debris that can puncture or damage the underside of your vehicle, which you would not see or know until an auto repair technician puts your vehicle on the hydraulic lift.
Since most car accident insurance claims need to be filed right after an accident, a month or two later would be too late to file a claim for this incident/accident. Watch for leaks of car fluids, flattened tires, damage to the support frames under your car, and scraped or dented fenders that would alert you to the fact that your vehicle was damaged when it slid into the ditch. Take your vehicle into the repair shop within three days of the accident. It does not cost you anything to put the car into the air and have an auto repair mechanic look. It costs you much more if you do not.