Fall is the perfect time to get your car ready for winter weather with this Fall list for winter readiness. It happens every year during the first significant snowfall of the year. I’m driving up a very slight grade and the person next to me cannot make it up the hill. They start fishtailing and spinning their tires, to no avail. They pull to the side of the road, if they can make it, and there they sit until they can get a tow truck or a friend to come and pick them up.
Or, temperatures drop suddenly and your car won’t start in the grocery parking lot. Don’t these scenarios seem to happen at the worst possible times?? Just a little pre-planning will get you safely through the fall and winter months, as headache-free as possible.
Honest Accurate Auto Service’s tips to be prepare your car for winter weather in Colorado Springs:
- If your battery is 3-5 years or older, have the voltage and cranking amperage checked. Summer heat often takes a bigger toll on batteries, but the drain shows up in the winter. Just when you need your car to start to get to work in the morning or take your child to school, suddenly your car won’t turn over. Batteries require minor maintenance (like cleaning the terminals) so there is less drag on the system, and batteries do require periodic replacement. At Honest Accurate Auto Service, we install a quality platinum battery with a 5 year, non-prorated (full replacement cost) warranty. What that means to you is that when your battery does fail, we will replace it for a nominal labor charge up to 5 years. We would be happy to do a complimentary check on your battery- just give us a call!
- When driving your vehicle, the area of your tires that actually contacts the road is only slightly larger than the size of your palm (this varies a little depending on the type of tire). Not a very big area, right? Therefore, it is critical that the contact patch have adequate gripping capability. Three things affect how effective your tire grips the road: tread depth, siping patterns (grooves and channel patterns in the tire), and degree of hardness of the tire rubber. For city driving, all-weather tires will work well…but only if the tread depth is adequate, at least 4/32nds. (As a point of reference, new tires begin at about 10/32nds.) Tires come with specific siping patterns, or they can be cut into the tire for certain weather conditions. Winter tires are made of a softer rubber, so they adhere to the road surface, but they also wear faster (which is why we don’t keep winter tires on the car through the summer). Winter tires are made for ice and snow, so if you are driving into the mountains frequently or are looking for maximum safety, they are worth the extra expense.
- So, you have good tires and maybe even 4-wheel drive, but you need to stop quickly and your brakes are worn. Will your brakes bring your 4000 lb.(plus or minus a few pounds!) vehicle to a safe stop in time to avoid the car in front of you? Brake pads and rotors/drums require periodic maintenance and/or replacement to be effective. We always measure the thickness of your brake pads and evaluate the condition of the rotors/drums during any service you have done in our shop. New brake pads start out at 10-12mm thickness, and we will recommend replacement when the pads are 2mm. If you like, you are always welcome to look at your brake pads (or any part for which we recommend replacement/repair) when your car is in the shop.
- Check your coolant/antifreeze level and condition. Maintaining a consistent temperature in your vehicle’s engine is critical in preventing engine damage. Radiators, hoses, and gaskets can deteriorate and develop leaks over time. Keep an eye under where you usually park your vehicle, and if you see any puddles, have it checked out soon. Leaks only get worse with time! The coolant system should be flushed every 5 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
- Be sure you are up-to-date on your oil changes and maintenance schedule (per your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations). Changing your oil on a regular basis is the BEST preventive medicine for your vehicle.
At Honest Accurate Auto Service, we do a complimentary inspection on all of the above systems, plus several more. We will give you the inspection report, and prioritize what should be done soon and what can wait. This information can be very helpful in planning ahead and budgeting to keep your car in tiptop shape!
It’s Fall already. Now is the time to be proactive and prepared for upcoming weather that changes so quickly in Colorado! We are always willing to do a quick courtesy check on your tire treads or air pressure or check fluid levels if you have a concern. Let us help you get your vehicle ready…before the cold weather strikes! Just give one of our shops a call or schedule an appointment online at: https://honestaccurateauto.com/schedule-auto-service-appointment/
We look forward to seeing you and your vehicle soon!