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Preparing Your Car for Safe Driving in the Winter

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A cold winter season can bring all sorts of complications or frustrations to your day-to-day life, from frozen pipes in your home to high gas bills for heating. But one of its worst consequences of a Colorado winter might be what it can do to your car. Thankfully, with a little preparation, you can largely mitigate or avoid serious winter-related car troubles.

Consider this checklist to help you get your vehicle winter ready:

  • Tire check: Starting from the ground up, you need to pay close attention to the condition of your tires. Use a quarter to check tread depth – if George Washington doesn’t disappear into the tread at all, the tire is worn out – and consider buying tires specifically treaded for winter roads. Don’t forget to keep tire chains in your trunk in case an unexpected blizzard rolls through the area.
  • Brake maintenance: The start of December is also a good time to have your brakes checked and maintained, if necessary. You do not want inefficient brakes when it matters most and when the roads are slippery with frost.
  • Half-full gas tank: Try to always keep your gas tank at least halfway full at all times during the winter. The emptier a gas tank, the more likely ice will start to form inside from condensation; if any ice comes loose, it can fall in and block the fuel line, causing engine interruptions and possible fuel line damage. It is also smart to have that extra fuel in case you need to run the heater after being caught out in the snow and it is no longer safe to drive. Remember: Never run your vehicle’s engine or heater while the exhaust pipe is blocked, so check for piled up snow and clear it away first.
  • Antifreeze level: Antifreeze is a bit of a panacea for your vehicle, taking care of all sorts of troubles. In addition to stopping water from freezing inside the engine, it can help prevent overheating, corrosion, and scale build up. Basically, antifreeze is your car’s best medicine the year round but is even more important in the winter.
  • Emergency rations: No one has ever planned on getting stuck out in the snow for hours or days, yet it happens all the time. Keep yourself and your family safe by packing a winter emergency kit and keeping it in your car. You need water, blankets, mittens, flashlight, sandbag or kitty litter to pour around tires when there is no traction, and nonperishable foods. Other items to consider include battery-powered radio, road flares, and a first-aid kid.

Ready for the winter now? Our team here at The Law Firm of Ted Bills hopes you and your loved ones stay safe as the temperature drops. In case there is an accident and you are hurt or your property is damaged, you can turn to our Colorado Springs personal injury lawyer for compassionate legal assistance. Call 719.359.9000 or contact us online when you need our help.