What do I need to know about winter driving?

Cute woman driver needs help on the snowy road


Which parts of my vehicle are most susceptible to the extreme cold weather?


In the deepest part of the Colorado weather, Lake Arbor Auto recommends that car and truck owners pay particular attention to at least three basic elements of their vehicles:

  • Lift windshield wipers off the windshield during long periods of inactivity.  Wipers freeze faster when they are in contact with the snow on the glass,  and they lose the pliability that makes them effective. Also, do a good job of scraping the bottom and edges of your windshield, again to protect the wipers.
  • Clear the cowl grate at the outside bottom of your windshield. The cowl grate provides the air intake for the car’s heater, and any blockage will increase the risk that under-hood fumes could seep into the passenger compartment. These fumes can include carbon monoxide.
  • Another key component that requires attention is the battery. The cold weather can sap the energy from the battery. Yes, you need to consider the effects of extreme heat on the battery in the summer, too; but it’s a lot less comfortable to get stuck in a parking lot with a dead battery when the temperature is well below freezing.  Ask a qualified auto mechanic to inspect your vehicle for cold-weather worthiness. Besides the three items mentioned above, the mechanic will check anti-freeze, washer fluid, tires and overall reliability.

Bottom line: Be prepared for the cold. You DON’T want to end up on the side of the road in these temperatures.