Preparing Your Car for Winter
With only 133 days left until winter, it’s time to get the ball rolling. We all know how harsh Colorado winters can be with snow hitting as early as October so it’s important to take the proper precautions with our cars and most importantly — our safety.
Now, and not later, is the time to take care of your car’s regular maintenance. This insists of topping off fluids, such as oil, coolant, brake, and transmission. Make sure to go in for your tune up if needed as well. It may seem like a lot to do at once but your car will thank you for it in the long run.
Whenever you go and get your fluids check, ensure that you check on your brakes as well. See if your rotors are warped or cracked. If they have grooves or your pads are close to their minimum clearance. Your car is going to be hit with winter’s brutal hand soon so make sure to fix any problems now. Ensure all of your lights are in proper working condition and give you the best visibility possible. New bulbs are only a few dollars and are extremely easy to replace. Make sure your windshield wipers are nice and new as well. If your blades are more than six months old, it’s time to switch them out. Don’t forget about your washer fluid and antifreeze as well!
Before winter hits, have your tires rotated and inspected. You need to avoid driving on bald or dry rotted tires. Be sure to replace any tires that are too worn. Since we receive a lot of snow in Colorado, look into getting winter tires. Winter tires are specially made with low temperature rubber compounds that have a deep tread to grip onto un-plowed snow and ice. Ensure your all of your tires, including your spare, has enough air in it. Once you’ve either replaced or made sure all your tires are good to go, check on your tire pressure. With everything up and running, you’ll get much better gas mileage, your vehicle will handle better, and your car will be safer for winter.
Most of the time we worry about the exterior of our vehicle only but we often fail to remember about the interior. If you’re going to be in and out of your vehicle a lot, it might be a good idea to get some all-weather floor mats. They’re extremely easy to clean and do a fantastic job of keeping all of the dirt and grime in one place. Also make sure your windows are clean which will help improve visibility and reduce the instance of steamy glass.
It is extremely crucial to check on your car’s coolant system. With Colorado’s extreme temperatures and harsh conditions, it can easily kick the bucket if it’s not up to standards. If any part of your car comes up with a not so great bill of health, swap out those parts for new ones. This also includes having your car’s radiator pressure tested and the hoses examined for any cracks or bulges. Most professional shops can test your radiators without the hassle of removing it from your car.
If you cannot remember the last time your water pump was replaced, or if it’s been longer than what your car manufacturer recommends, it’s time for a new one. While your car is already being worked on, opt for a new thermostat as well because you’ll save time and labor getting these two key components done at once.
If everything is good under the hood, it’s still advised to replace your engine’s coolant. It’s a cheap and easy fix to help your engine fight against extreme temperatures. Over time, antifreeze will actually generate a weak electrical current, which can cause oxidation and eventually cause a failure inside of your coolant system. You’ll want at least a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze to protect you against below zero temperatures. Keeping everything fresh and new will put a lot less strain on your vehicle’s hardware and definitely save you some big bucks in the long run.
Sometimes even in some of the most perfect cars, they can break down. Being stranded on the side of the road in winter can be one of the most dangerous situations of your life. By carrying certain supplies, these small but substantial things could be the difference between life and death.
These items can include:
• jumper cables
• first aid kit
• energy bars
• waterproof gloves
• water proof matches
• ice scraper
• a bag of sand/kitty litter for traction
A little preparation can go a long way to keep your car in tip top shape for those brutal winter months. Not only will the right tools and maintenance protect you, your family, and your car from the elements, but it will most importantly keep you safe.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a winter car accident, contact us today at McCormick & Murphy, P.C.