As the winter chill settles in, it’s time to give your trusty ride a little TLC before the New Year. No one wants to be stuck on the side of the road with a car hiccup, especially in the cold. We’re about to unpack some straightforward tricks to gear up your car for the impending chill of Denver’s winter.
According to the road gurus at Carsurance, 54% of roadside breakdowns happen because of tire troubles. It’s like the Achilles’ heel of winter driving. Check the tire pressure; cold weather can make it drop. Make sure your treads are still treading strong. You can use the penny test to check. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for some new tires. Think of winter tires as your car’s equivalent to a good pair of snow boots, giving it the grip it needs on icy streets. Don’t let your tires be the reason you’re stuck in the snowbank.
Keep the Engine Happy
Fluids are the lifeblood of your car, especially in the winter. According to Kelley Blue Book, a transmission fluid change might set you back $200 to $300, but it’s a small price for a happy transmission. Give your car’s oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and coolant a quick check-up. If these look low or dirty, it’s time for a top-up or a flush. Winter temperatures can be tough on your engine, and well-lubricated parts are your car’s best defense against the cold.
Charge Up for Winter Wonders
Your car’s battery might be feeling the winter blues, too. Cold weather can zap a battery’s strength, and no one wants to be stranded with a car that won’t start in the snow. Check your battery’s terminals for corrosion, clean them up, and make sure they’re snug. If your battery is older than four or five years, consider giving it a retirement party and replacing it.
Gear Up for the Unexpected
Winter can throw unexpected challenges your way, so it’s wise to be prepared. Pack your trunk with emergency kit essentials like a blanket, extra gloves, a flashlight, a small shovel, and some non-perishable snacks. Consider adding some sand or cat litter for traction if you find yourself stuck in the snow. Get yourself set for those surprise winter escapades.
Defrost with Care
Winter mornings often come with a frosty surprise on your windshield. Make sure your defrosting game is strong. Check your defroster and rear window defogger to ensure they’re working. Keep an ice scraper handy to clear your windshield and windows. It’s best to avoid hot water to melt the ice; it can crack your windshield. Instead, let your car warm up and use the defroster.
Navigate the Winter Roads Wisely
Winter driving is like a dance, but you want to lead with caution. Increase your following distance, brake gently, and avoid sudden movements. If the roads are icy, take it slow and steady. The CDC reports a staggering number of 37,595 deaths from car accidents every year. Keep in mind that it’s not about speeding to your destination. The goal of winter driving is a safe arrival. Consider investing in a set of snow chains or snow tires for added traction.
Stay Informed on the Road Conditions
Stay up-to-date with the weather forecast and road conditions. Knowing what’s ahead is like having a navigation system for your winter journey. If the forecast looks rough, consider delaying your trip or taking an alternative route. In Denver, where winter weather can be unpredictable, staying informed is your key to safe and stress-free winter driving.
Here is a roadmap to get your car ready for the cold before the New Year. Winter driving in Denver can be an adventure, but with a well-prepped vehicle, you’ll navigate the roads like a pro. If you give your car some winter love, you can hit the road with confidence.