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|2525 Kipling St.
Lakewood, CO 80215
(South of Ace Hardware)
Monday - Friday
7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Getting Your Vehicle Ready For Winter
Mechanical failure—an inconvenience anytime it occurs--can be deadly in the
winter. Preventive maintenance is a must. Besides, a well-maintained vehicle is
more enjoyable to drive, lasts longer, and could command a higher resale price.
Some of the following tips can be performed by any do-it-yourselfer; others
require the skilled hands of a professional auto technician.
• Engine Performance - Get engine driveability problems (hard starts, rough
idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good repair shop. Cold
weather makes existing problems worse. Replace dirty filters-air, fuel, etc.
• Fuel - Put a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a month to help keep
moisture from freezing in the fuel line. Note that a full gas tank helps keep moisture
• Oil - Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual—more often (every 3,000 miles) if your
driving is mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips.
• Cooling Systems -
DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled!
The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.
• Windshield Wipers - Replace old blades. If your climate is harsh, purchase rubber-clad (winter) blades
to fight ice build-up. Stock up on windshield washer solvent-you'll be surprised how much you use.
Carry an ice-scraper.
• Heater/Defroster - The heater and defroster must be in good working condition for passenger comfort
and driver visibility. Newer models have a cabin air filter that should be replaced periodically. Check your
owner's manual for the location and replacement interval.
• Battery - The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care:
Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If
battery caps are removable, check fluid level monthly. Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid.
Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.
• Lights - Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean road grime from all
lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.
• Exhaust System - Your vehicle should be placed on a lift and the exhaust system examined for leaks.
The trunk and floor boards should be inspected for small holes. Exhaust fumes can be deadly.
• Tires - Worn tires will be of little use in winter weather. Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven
wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check tire pressures once a month. Check the
tires when they are cold, before driving for any distance. Rotate as recommended. Don't forget your spare, and
be sure the jack is in good condition.
• Carry emergency gear: gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter, tire chains, and
a flash light. Put a few "high-energy" snacks in your glove box.