How should I prepare my car for winter?

How should I prepare my car for winter?

Winter weather can be tough on your car. Fortunately, a bit of early preparation can help ensure that your vehicle is winterized and ready for action.
 
Routine Maintenance: Roadside breakdowns are never fun, but when the weather is below freezing, a breakdown can be frankly dangerous. Have routine service performed before the winter season, including a battery check. In addition, ask your auto technician whether you should switch to a thinner winter-weight motor oil.
 
Snow Tires and Chains: All-season tires are generally okay for light snow and ice, but true winter weather demands dedicated snow tires. Chains help your tires grip the road, but check your local ordinances. Some places have banned them due to road surface damage, while others require them for hazardous roadways or during extreme winter weather.
 
Fluids: Check your owner’s manual to see what ratio of antifreeze to water your vehicle’s cooling system needs during the winter. Top off all your vehicle’s fluids if needed, including the windshield washer fluid. Also, be sure to keep your gas tank at least half full throughout the winter. Some stations close during weather events, and you may spend a lot of time idling in traffic.
 
Emergency Kit: A small emergency kit is always recommended, but it could literally save your life during winter weather. In addition to a jack, flares, first aid supplies, and other common items, be sure to pack specific cold-weather gear. This should include space blankets, gloves, hats, and high-protein snacks, as well as an ice scraper, a tube of glycerin de-icer, an extra bottle of engine coolant, and perhaps something like kitty litter for getting the car unstuck. Also, make sure your phone is charged before getting in the car, as it could become a lifeline in an emergency.
 
Car Protection: Mud, slush, and road salt can wreak havoc on the inside and outside of your car. Wash and wax the entire vehicle, including the underbody, wheel wells, and alloy wheels. Thoroughly vacuum the car’s interior, and then put down rubber floor mats on the carpeting to protect it.
 
If you are tired of getting the runaround and being treated like you haven’t got a clue, we invite you to try Colchin Automotive instead. Give us a call at 303-431-5421 for all of your automotive needs!

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