As we all know living in the Rocky Mountains can be very unpredictable when it comes to mother nature. We all know the scenario way too well. One day it is beautiful and 70 degrees out and the next day you find yourself in a freezing rain storm on I 70, which now looks more like a Target parking lot. You find yourself quickly reacting to the freezing liquid falling down on your windshield by turning on the wipers. The usual hypnotizing sound this morning sounds more like fingernails on a chalk board.
Where did all the rubber go on my wipers? Then it hits you like a broken record playing in your head. Your husband’s voice reminding you multiple times to replace your wipers and fill up your fluid so this very thing would not happen. This year I promised myself I was going to surprise my husband and get prepared for winter. I went into my local auto repair shop, Pro Auto Care of Denver and received some tips from the experts. So here it is Denver, 10 very easy ways to prepare your vehicle for winter. Hopefully I won’t see any of you stranded on the side of I-70 this year.
1. Replace you Wiper Blades and fill up your Washer Fluid. Believe it or not, there is a difference between standard wiper blades and snow wiper blades. Because we live in a cold weather state it is a good idea to purchase snow wiper blades. Below are some things to consider when purchasing:
- Made of heavy gauge steel
- Prevents snow and ice from accumulating
- Tough rubber boot blade surface
You should be able to find snow wiper by doing a Google search or at your local auto parts store. When in doubt ask your local mechanic for advice.
2. Get an Oil Change. As the weather turns cold in CO your oil can tend to thicken. When this happens, it can tend not lubricate your vehicle correctly. Turn to your vehicles Owners Manual to find out what oils is right for you car in cold temperatures. Your local mechanic will also be a great resource.
3. Have your Tire Pressure checked. In Co when the temperature changes drastically it can also affect your tire pressure. Because tire traction is such a key factor in icy, wet driving conditions it is important to make sure your pressure is ideal for your tires. If you do not know how to check your tire pressure you can watch this How To Video and save yourself the trouble of taking your car into the shop.
4. Check you Battery. The last thing you want to be is stranded on I-70 with a dead battery. Now is the time CO to go have your battery checked by a certified tech to see if it can hold a charge, especially if you have an older car. Check your battery for corrosion as well, this could be a sign of a battery about to go dead.
5. Belts and Hoses: Colorado weather can do a number on the wear and tear of your belts and hoses because our extreme temperature ranges. It is a good idea at every oil change to have your mechanic check the condition of your hoses and belts.
6. 4-Wheel Drive? Driving in CO calls for AWD or 4WD vehicles-we all know this. As the weather turns colder it is a good time to have your mechanic check the working condition of this. Also to note-everybody in your household should know how to put your car into 4WD if needed.
7. How Old Are Your Tires? If you plan on heading up to the slopes this winter you may want to invest in some good snow tires for the season. In CO you can make the choice for a really good all-season tire or in higher elevations you may want to purchase some good snow tires. When you are in your next oil change ask your mechanic about the shape of your tires and what they recommend for the season.
8. Get an Emergency Car Kit Ready. If you are planning to take any long trips in Colorado this winter this is essential. This kit should consist of a flash light, wool blanket, water, extra warm clothes, gloves, hat, flares, jumper cables, shovel, spare tire, first aid kit, and tire changing equipment.
9. Antifreeze Mixture. Because we live in a colder climate this is important. Your antifreeze should have a 50-50 mix of coolant and water. Talk to your mechanic at your next oil change about what’s right for your car.
10. Emergency Plan: You are heading up to Vail for a ski weekend. So, what’s your plan if your car breaks down. Your cell phone coverage may not work on I-70. Make sure when venturing out this winter in CO that you always have an emergency plan. As we all know Mother Nature is not always predictable here.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing any of this yourself, make an appointment with your local auto repair shop. If you don’t have one check out Pro Auto Care, located in Denver at 2030 S Dahlia St or call 303-756-6300. You will thank me later. Bring on the snow Colorado, I’m ready for it now.
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