lthough winter hasn’t officially started, it’s definitely here in the Yampa Valley. With that in mind, here are some tips to keep the cold temperatures from wreaking havoc on your car.
Keep the Battery in Good Shape
Your vehicle's battery is especially hard hit when the mercury plummets. Cold temperatures reduce its cranking power or starting power. If it's more than five years old and shows signs of weakness, replace the battery with a top-rated model. You can have the battery professionally tested at our service centers. A tired battery may just need to be charged. But if it's defective or just worn out, it's best to replace it before it goes completely dead.
Replace the Wiper Blades
You have to replace wiper blades more often than you might think. Streaks or missed expanses of glass are sure signs that the blades are ready for retirement. While it's possible to stretch their life by cleaning the rubber edge of the blade periodically with a paper towel and glass cleaner, it isn't safe to do that all winter long. Instead, get yourself new blades. We recommend replacing wiper blades as often as twice per year depending on wear and tear and weather conditions.
Clear the Windows
If you can't see out the windows, you're a danger to yourself and everyone around. Don't try to use the wipers to remove ice from the windshield. Instead, use an ice scraper on frosty mornings. If you park outside, place the wipers in the raised position when it's going to snow overnight to keep them from freezing to the windshield.
With dirt, mud, and salt residue being kicked up off the road, it's likely that you'll be using your windshield washers a lot, so keep your windshield-washer reservoir filled with a winter-blend washer solution that contains an antifreeze agent. To help prevent your windshield from fogging up, run the air-conditioning system (with the temperature set at a comfortable level) to dehumidify the air.
Finally, check that all the vehicle's lights are working properly and that the lenses are clean, so that you'll have optimum visibility at night and motorists front and rear will be able to see you.
Consider New Tires
If you've been waiting to pick up a new set of tires, don’t delay as your safety depends on tire traction and winter-grade tires tend to be in short supply when the snow begins to fall. Remember that it's safest to replace all four tires at one time. Consider buying dedicated winter tires. These have tread patterns and rubber compounds specially designed to grip snow and ice for optimum traction on slick roads. Winter tires typically have shorter tread life and generate more road noise than the all-season tires that your vehicle came with, but the extra safety they provide is generally worth the compromise.
Even if your tires are in good shape, make sure that you keep them properly inflated. Big drops in temperature mean your tires will lose air, because tire pressure declines with the thermometer.
Finally, keep a roadside emergency kit in your car.
If you haven’t already scheduled your winter service, call any of our service centers in Craig and Steamboat Springs.