With the holidays over, winter is still in full swing in Steamboat Springs. The holidays may likely have taken priority over car maintenance, but now is a good time to make sure your vehicle is ready (and safe) to take on the rest of winter.
Cold weather makes pliable material stiffer and more brittle and can make fluids thicker. Mountain driving becomes more dangerous when ice and snow are added. All of this means that having a vehicle in top shape is even more important during these cold months.
Use our 5 Winter Car Care Tips to get started:
1. Take your car in for a tune-up
If you haven’t taken your car to the shop for a while, now is the time to do so. A tune-up will help keep your car running longer and may save you money by detecting potential problems early.
2. Check your Tires
On slippery or icy roads, your tires are extremely important to giving you stability and controlled handling. So before the weather takes a turn for the worse, make sure to check your tires’ pressure and wear. You can place a penny on its edge in a tread groove to test your tire’s tread. If you can see the top of his hair or any of the tires background, it is time to replace your tires. Do this in several spots because tires don’t wear evenly. You should also take your tires in to get rotated and properly balanced. If you’re in an area with particularly severe winter weather, you should consider purchasing a set of snow tires which are made specifically for snowy and icy surfaces.
3. Check your Fluids Levels
Make sure you check that the transmission, brake, power steering and windshield washer fluids and coolants are filled to proper levels. You should use de-icer windshield washer fluid which will help clear light ice and frost while preventing re-freezing.
4. Make a Winter Emergency Kit
In addition to the emergency road kit you should already have in your car, it is a good idea to have a special winter car kit. This kit should include things like cat litter or sand for tire traction on snow and ice, an ice scraper and de-icing liquid.
5. Check your Air Filters
During the summer and fall, contaminants can get caught in your air filters and will eventually get caught inside your vehicle and cause problems. If you see any debris caught on the filter, it’s a good idea to get the filter replaced.