It is time to get your car ready for winter. Cold weather puts more demands on your car and exacerbates existing problems. Here are some things to consider:
Maintenance Inspection: Make sure your car maintenance is current. This is the number one thing you can do ensure that your brakes, belts and hoses, engine, exhaust system, fluids and filters are in good working order and ready to handle the cold. Change your oil and filter at least every 3000 to 5000 miles.
Windshield Wipers: Many drivers discover their windshield wiper blades need replacing and they are out of windshield wiper fluid in our first major snowstorm when they can not see out their windshield. Be proactive and replace your blades every fall before snow season. We recommend rubber clad blades to fight ice buildup. Stock up on windshield washer solvent. Make sure you have a good quality ice scraper and snow brush in your car.
Heater and Defroster: The heater and defroster must be in good working condition for passenger comfort and driver visibility. Your air conditioner needs to be functional as well to ensure proper defrost operation. If your windows are fogging up, make sure the fresh air button is selected.
Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wear, and cupping. Check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Monitor tire pressures once a month. Let the tires cool down before checking the pressure. Rotate as recommended.
Wash Your Car After a Snowstorm: The State of Colorado uses magnesium chloride for deicing paved roads. While less corrosive than road salt, it can still cause damage to your car. Take your car to a touchless car wash frequently during the winter, including an underbody rinse to remove magnesium chloride and dirt from your car.
Avoid Food Storage in Car and Garage: In cold weather, mice and other animals look for warm places like your car engine. They also like to chew on car wiring. Make your vehicle less attractive by cleaning up food spills when they happen and cleaning up trash regularly. Do not store food in the vehicle (except in your emergency kit in a sealed container.) A metal container is the best choice for storing pet food in the garage.
Emergencies: Be prepared for unexpected snow and ice with an emergency car kit.