How can I prepare my car for cold weather?

Question:

As we get closer to winter, which maintenance items should I address to keep my car running smoothly?

Answer:

Colorado is infamous for its sudden weather changes in the fall, and it’s best not to wait until the first snowstorm (average date in the Denver area is Oct. 19!) before considering the ways that you make your vehicle more cold-weather worthy. Here are a couple of important places to start:

  •  Realize that your car begins to behave differently and requires different accommodations at the 32-degree mark. Fluids are especially worthy of attention. Start with the engine coolant/antifreeze. At some point in the summer, if you put water in there (never a good idea!), this is the time to flush it out and replace it with a high quality, nearly freeze-proof chemical mixture.
  • Check your windshield wiper fluid. Same thing – water does not work! Check the liquid’s freezing level before you put it in your car. Diluted washer fluid or washer fluid without ethanol can cause problems in the depths of winter.
  • Other items to check as we head into the winter: battery condition, wiper blades, belts/hoses, heater, 4-wheel drive system and of course, tires.

Bottom line: There are a lot of fluid levels and a lot of critical functions that need to be in tiptop condition as your vehicle heads into harsh weather. You don’t need to do it all yourself. Lake Arbor Auto mechanics are standing by, ready to help!