As we end October and get ready to begin November, we can already feel the special chill in the air throughout Colorado Springs. It's a sign that winter is coming soon and we want to keep our vehicles running their best despite the freezing temperatures, ice, rain and snow.
There is no doubt that many of your car's important systems and parts need to work a little harder in the winter months. LightHouse Automotive has identified these 8 things in your vehicle that need extra attention heading into the coldest season of the year in Colorado:
1. Car Battery
With cold temperatures, it's hard to get your battery warm and keep it charged in between starts. Make sure your alternator is in working properly and your battery is holding a full charge. If you know that your battery is already starting to get weak, now may be the best time to replace it before it causes you trouble in winter.
2. Wheels and Tires
Wheels and tires play a very important role all year round as they are the only thing connecting your car to the road. They become extra important in the winter season because of any ice, snow or excess moisture that may be on the roads. You want to have ample tread depth and traction. Some Colorado residents will install snow tires this time of year or they get all-weather tires to keep them safe no matter what our climate brings.
Like your wheels and tires, healthy brakes are vital in the winter. You'll want to make sure your antilock braking system (ABS) is functioning properly to prevent skidding, and of course you want your brake pads and rotors to be in good shape.
When it's really cold outside, it's a smart idea to let your vehicle warm up for at least 30 seconds before you start driving. Newer cars don't need too much warm-up time. Older engines may need a bit longer. Letting the engine get warm reduces stress caused by freezing temperatures and contracted metal components. Now is also a convenient time for an oil change before winter is upon us.
Like the engine, the transmission has to work a little harder when it's cold outside. Try not to shift too aggressively if you drive a manual transmission vehicle. If you are in an automatic, be conservative with your acceleration and deceleration. That helps protect the transmission along with the brakes, wheels, tires, suspension and all parts of your drivetrain.
6. Cooling System
Many people think that the cooling system only works to prevent the engine from overheating. Well, radiator coolant is also known as "antifreeze" for a reason. It helps regulate the running temperature of the engine, whether it is hot or cold outside. Many Colorado mechanics will also recommend a different ratio of water and coolant in the system for the colder months compared to the warm summer months.
7. Heater and Defrosters
You want to make sure your heater and defrosters (and your entire A/C system) is working well heading into winter. You will depend on the heater more and you will need those defrosters doing what they are designed to do in order to help keep your windows from fogging up too much.
8. Windshield Wipers
Windshield wipers are something none of us really think about until they start to get really bad. Before it starts raining and snowing, test out your wipers and see if the wiper blades are due to be replaced. It's better to install new ones now before you really need them!
These are just a few things to think about as we get ready for another beautiful, yet cold Colorado Springs winter. Keep your car healthy and protected from the bad weather and keep yourself safer on the road. For all your fall and winter automotive maintenance needs, call LightHouse Automotive today at (719) 465-0302 or schedule your service appointment online.