The winter season takes a heavy toll on cars. Salt-strewn roads, sludge buildup in undercarriages and tire treads, and frozen fluids can all spell disaster for your ride if you don’t know the basics of Colorado winter car maintenance. Review these pointers to protect your car from Colorado winter conditions and make sure this holiday season is as enjoyable for your vehicle as it is for you.
When Colorado roads get icy, salt and sand are scattered to improve traction and speed up road thaw. While they help keep the road clear and safe, they also create a corrosive mixture that lodges in the undercarriage of your car, accelerating rust damage and degradation.
The best way to combat this is to wash your car more frequently during the winter months, and always wash underneath your car. Go to an automatic car wash if you can’t brave the elements, but if you prefer to wash your vehicle yourself, adding three tablespoons of baking soda to your undercarriage wash water will neutralize the salt and prevent it from causing further harm.
Today’s aerodynamic cars shed water quickly through a network of hidden channels and drains. Along with water, these conduits can collect dead bugs, leaves, silt, and sand- blockages that cause water to collect inside your vehicle, inviting mildew, paint deterioration, and rusting. If this water freezes, it can distort panels or even break hidden parts. Prevent this by checking these channels regularly and keeping them clear of debris. If you’re not sure where to look, swing by a Colorado AAMCO location and let one of our Colorado auto mechanics check them for you.
On the topic of freezing damage, make sure your anti-freeze mixture and engine cooling system are clean and topped off, and rinse your radiator occasionally to keep it free of road salt. Find a nearby AAMCO cooling system maintenance location to keep your car running well no matter what the temperature.
If you only do one thing this winter to protect your car, wax it regularly. Waxing periodically all winter gives you an opportunity to inspect your car’s surface for damage and provides a vital barrier to road sand and salt. Add this easy step to your to-do list and protect your car’s finish from Colorado winter wear.
Motorists depend on their wheels to get them safely over ice and snow- but winter wheel care often gets overlooked. The same sand and salt that protects you from skidding off the road also grinds into a dangerous paste that eats away at your tires and compromises their safety. Stave off this damage by washing your wheels with a non-acidic, non-caustic wheel cleaner, and unless your wheels are chrome, follow it up with a wax. Check in with a Colorado tire technician to catch wear and tear early in the game, and your wheels will thank you by giving you a safe ride this winter and for years to come.
As always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Try not to drive in snowy or icy conditions if you can avoid it, and keep your car in a garage whenever possible. Car covers are a great way to prevent unnecessary damage from ice and soot. Take these preventative measures and follow a regular vehicle maintenance schedule to keep your car protected from Colorado winter conditions. For more information on protecting your vehicle, or to find a Colorado AAMCO location near you, visit aamcocolorado.com.