Prepare Your Car for Colorado Winter
Winter is on its way. Colorado has already seen the first snow of the season, but before the weather gets worse and sticks to the roads, you should be sure your car is ready for a Colorado Winter. Here are 5 things you can do to prepare your car for winter.
Pull Together an Emergency Kit
Colorado weather is always unpredictable. You need to prepare for the worst before a bad storm comes along. We suggest putting together an emergency kit to have in the trunk of your car. Must haves include a blanket or two, a flashlight, an extra pair of gloves and a hat, an extra ice scraper and brush, a small shovel, and high protein snacks like jerky and nuts. Some other things you should consider putting in your emergency kit are a first aid kit, a change of warm clothes for the driver, and a bag of kitty litter or sand in the event that your tires get stuck in snow or slush. It is easy to put these things is a bin and store it in your trunk for the season.
Check Your Tires
It is especially important in Colorado that your tires are in the right condition to drive through snow and slush. First, you are going to want to check your tire pressure. If you are unsure what the PSI should be, refer to your vehicle’s manual. Having the right tire pressure will help your tires perform better in snow and slush. You should test your tire pressure monthly during the winter.
Another tire related thing you are going to want to check is your tread depth. If your tires are low on tread depth, they aren’t going to be able to grip the road properly and you will find yourself slipping and sliding around in the snow and ice. Most people do the Lincoln Test. This is where you take a penny and sick it in your tread with Lincoln’s head pointing inward toward the tire. If you can see his whole head, you are in need of new tires. Having proper tires in the winter is vital to the safety of you and those around you.
Depending on where you live in Colorado, you might want to consider snow tires for the winter. Snow tires are made differently than regular and all season tires. They are optimized to grip the road more and have different tread patterns to move snow and slush away from your tires, instead of compacting the snow down. They are also made with thousands of tiny slits in the tread that help provide better traction on ice.
Check Fluids and Top them Off
While this should be done with regular maintenance of your car, many people forget about this for winter preparation. First, you will want to check your antifreeze/coolant levels. Antifreeze keeps your engine from freezing up in the bitter cold winter months. Check your vehicle’s manual for specific levels. Next, you will want to check your windshield wiper fluid. In Colorado, we can experience days where the high temperature is below freezing, so make sure your windshield wiper fluid can withstand below freezing temperatures. It is also a good idea to top off your washer fluid as you never know when you might need to use it.
Have Your Battery Tested
As mentioned above, Colorado can experience some bitter, cold temperatures. This kind of cold can decrease the capacity in your vehicle’s battery. Get your battery tested to see if it can withstand the cold. If not, get it replaced as soon as you can. It is also smart to keep jumper cables in your car in the event that your car battery dies in the middle of winter.
Install New Windshield Wipers
There is nothing more dangerous than not being able to see out of your windshield in the middle of a snowstorm. Check the performance of your wipers. Inspect them for cracks and if they leave streaks or not. If they aren’t in good condition, consider switching them out for more heavy-duty wipers that are better in snow and ice. Either way, we want to remind you how dangerous it is drive with a windshield you can’t see out of. You should also check that your defrosters are also working properly.
Most of these things are easy to check at home, but if you’d like some help with checking tires, stop by Peak Kia North today!