AAA News Alert - Coloradans Running Out of Time to Winterize
Don't get stranded: Waning days of warm weather perfect time to brace for winter
DENVER (November 2, 2017) –– Don't let the warm weather fool you: Fall is here, and winter is on its way. As any longtime Coloradan can tell you, rapid, dramatic weather changes are a hallmark of life here – and motorists who have yet to prepare their vehicle for winter are running out of time before the next big storm.
We get it: On days like these, it's tempting to spend a few hours hanging out at the park or on a rooftop patio. And Coloradans should! But they should also take a few minutes to have their car inspected by a certified technician.
"There's never a good time for your car to break down," said AAA Colorado spokesman Skyler McKinley. "But, topping the list of all the bad times for your car to break down is when a winter storm is bearing down on us, the roads are jammed up, and we're facing freezing temperatures. Luckily, a little automobile maintenance right now can keep you from being stranded on the side of the road later."
Harsh winter conditions make your vehicle work harder, particularly the charging and starting system, headlights, tires, and windshield wipers. AAA Colorado recommends that motorists:
- Clean any corrosion from battery posts and cable connections and wash all surfaces with battery terminal cleaner or a solution of baking soda and water. Have the battery checked by a professional to ensure it is strong enough to face cold weather. AAA members can request a visit from a AAA Mobile Battery Service technician who will test their battery and replace it on-site, if necessary. AAA Approved Auto Repair shops can also test and repair batteries.
- Have any engine drivability problems corrected at a good repair shop. Symptoms such as hard starts, rough idling, stalling or diminished power could signal a problem that will be exacerbated by cold weather.
- Replace worn windshield-wiper blades. For Colorado winters, motorists will need one-piece beam-type or rubber-clad "winter" blades to fight snow and ice build-up. Use cold-weather windshield washer solvent and carry an ice-scraper.
- Inspect all lights and bulbs and replace burned out bulbs. Clean road grime or clouding from all lenses.
- Have your mechanic check the exhaust system for leaks and look for any holes in the trunk and floorboards.
- Examine tires for tread depth, uneven wearing and cupping. Check tire pressures once a month when tires are cold, before driving for any distance.
Motorists can identify reliable, high-quality repair shops with certified technicians by looking for the AAA Approved Auto Repair sign. These facilities must meet and maintain high professional standards for customer service, technician training, tools, equipment, warranties and cleanliness. Nearby Colorado shops can be located at AAA.com/repair. "Those new to Colorado may also be new to the effects that winter has on their car," McKinley said. "Take a few minutes, while the warm weather holds up, to park somewhere nice and give your car a thorough inspection. When the snow rolls into town, you'll be glad you did."
About AAA Colorado
More than 650,000 members strong, AAA Colorado is the state's greatest advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. As North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 58 million members with travel, insurance, financial, and automotive-related services - as well as member-exclusive savings. For more information, visit Colorado.AAA.com.