How Do I Prepare My Car for Winter Driving?

Posted on: October 26th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

snow tires for safe winter drivingAs we approach November, we’re starting to see a transition to winter weather in Colorado. This serves as a great reminder that it’s time to start preparing your car for winter driving. The harsh weather and hazardous road conditions make it critical that you prepare your vehicle for optimal cold weather performance. Often, these actions can help reduce your risk of a car accident.

The following tips will help ensure your vehicle is ready for winter. If you have any questions about the steps that need to be taken, the team at Accurate Auto Body is here to help.

Winter Tire Prep

Your tires are an important piece of equipment, especially during cold, snowy weather. Make sure to take the following steps to ensure your tires are ready for winter:

  • Switch to snow tires – Whether you drive into the mountains or stay local around Denver, transitioning to snow tires is one of the most important things to do before winter driving. Snow tires have deeper tread than other tires, improving their performance in snow. In addition, snow tires use a type of rubber that won’t become hard and brittle when temperatures drop below freezing. This will provide improved grip on cold roads.
  • Inspect your tire tread – It’s important to make sure your tires have adequate tread for winter driving. You can check your tire tread by placing a penny in the groove of your tire. If you can still see more than the top of Lincoln’s head, you need to replace your tires.
  • Check your tire pressure – In general, your tires will lose 1 psi for every ten-degree drop in temperature. Therefore, it’s crucial to test the air pressure as the weather gets colder since underinflated tires can result in poor performance on winter roads. Check your owner’s manual to find out the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle.

Bring Your Car to the Mechanic for a Checkup

Schedule an appointment with your mechanic to make sure the following items are functioning properly:

  • Battery – Battery performance is impacted by cold weather. Your mechanic will make sure it’s holding a proper charge, and he can remove any corrosion from the connections.
  • Brakes – Properly functioning brakes are critical during winter driving conditions. Always make sure your brakes don’t need to be replaced before the snow starts falling.
  • Coolant – Make sure the level, concentration and condition of your coolant is checked. During winter months, it’s best to use a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water.
  • Heating system – In addition to keeping you warm and comfortable on a cold day, your heating system will ensure your defroster works properly. This is crucial for driving safely during a winter storm.

Check Your Windshield Wiper System

The start of winter is generally a good time to give your windshield wiper system a refresh:

  • Replace old, worn down wiper blades with a new pair. Consider purchasing winter blades that will more effectively remove built-up snow and ice.
  • Refill your windshield wiper fluid. Use a cold-weather formula that won’t freeze as it hits your windshield.
  • Make sure you have a backup jug of wiper fluid in your car in case you run out during a snow storm.
  • Check the spray nozzles to make sure they’re not blocked. If necessary, you can clear blocked wiper spray nozzles with a pin or needle.

Check Your Lights

winter driving with poor windshield wipersVisibility is often poor during the winter months due to shorter periods of daylight and the frequency of snow storms. As a result, it’s crucial that your lights are working properly so that you can see when visibility conditions are poor.

Start your vehicle and turn on all the lights, including your hazard lights. Walk around the vehicle to make sure they’re all working properly. If any lights are burned out, pick up a replacement at your local auto body parts store. Head and tail lights are easy to replace yourself, but the staff at the auto parts store will often assist you if you’re unsure of how to perform this task.

Pack a Winter Supply Kit

Breakdowns and car accidents are a common occurrence in winter months. In addition, you’re more likely to be stopped on the highway for extended periods of time due to storm and accident closures. It’s important to have the right supplies in your vehicle to ensure you stay safe if you get stranded on the highway:

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Road flares
  • First aid kit
  • Cell phone charger
  • Blankets
  • Non-perishable snacks
  • Small bag of sand or kitty litter for extra traction on slippery conditions
  • Extra gloves and hat
  • Small snow shovel
  • Tire chains
  • Jumper cables

Accurate Auto Body Can Help

While these preventive measures are important, accidents do happen on occasion. If you’re involved in a car accident this winter, Accurate Auto Body can help. We offer a wide range of collision repair services to restore the appearance and function of your vehicle.

Accurate Auto Body is the only body shop in the Denver and Aurora area with an exclusive Focus on You Service System™ dedicated to making sure your needs are always placed first. This approach ensures that you’ll always:

  • Be treated with the highest levels of respect during every step of the repair process
  • Feel comfortable whenever you visit our shop
  • Receive guaranteed pricing to avoid surprises during later stages of the process
  • Receive guaranteed completion dates so that you can plan accordingly
  • Be informed of all your options and have all questions answered in a courteous, professional manner
  • Receive faster turnaround times to reduce the hassles associated with vehicle repairs
  • Have your vehicle fixed properly the first time
  • Have your schedule accommodated when arranging for repairs
  • Receive assistance with the insurance claims process to ensure it’s handled properly

Please contact us today to get a repair estimate. Accurate Auto Body serves individuals in Aurora, Denver and the surrounding areas of Colorado.

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