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Prepare Your Vehicle (And it's Driver) For Winter

Tips on Preparing for Winter Driving Conditions

By Ben Silver - November 25, 2015

I don’t usually post blogs to prevent the need for used auto parts, but it’s important that you protect yourself and your vehicle this winter.  Preventing collisions, being prepared, and possibly even saving someone from injury are more important than selling used auto parts, Driving in Colorado in the winter can be treacherous, and with the additional traffic we’ve seen in Denver and the entire metro area will not make it any easier this winter.  Here are some tips to get you ready for winter.  And if you do find yourself in a situation or collision that has created a need for used auto parts, hopefully you’ll think of Central Auto Parts first.
 
Pack an emergency kit along with your first-aid kit.
Keeping a roadside safety kit in your trunk year-round is a good idea, but winter driving conditions require extra safety equipment. Make sure your vehicle is equipped with items like a scraper for the windshield, a small shovel, a sandbag, candles, and warm clothing like gloves and a hat.  Salvage yards don’t sell emergency preparedness kits, but we can point you in the right direction ;-)
 
Learn and practice winter driving techniques
It’s always a blast to take a winter lesson from your local driver instructor. It is common practice to set up a winter refresher course in an open parking lot to brush up on your spinouts, steering, and breaking techniques.  This is a sure way to help you avoid an accident and the cost of vehicle repair and auto parts.  Also, it’s a lot of fun as long as you’re careful.
 
Prepare your vehicle for winter in the fall.
It never hurts to be prepared. Having your vehicle ready for that first surprise snowfall puts you ahead of everyone else and makes sure you are paying your due diligence for winter driving.  A quick inspection with your next oil change at your favorite shop can be huge.  If something needs fixed, better to get it done before you’re stuck on the roadside in a 25-degree snowstorm.  If the shop finds something wrong, we’re happy to help you save big bucks on any salvage auto parts you’ll need.
 
Make sure you have matching tires.
Mixing tires with different tread patterns, different internal constructions and/or different sizes compromises the stability of the vehicle. Ensure your vehicle is equipped with four identical winter tires. A visual inspection should help you identify whether or not your tread is the same.
 
Plan your trip, check road and weather conditions.
Using apps and other tools are useful for route planning. COTrip.org is Colorado’s official information service and is a great way to plan your route based on road closures, conditions, and construction information.  Both there website and there mobile app are great resources for route planning and driving information.
 
Give yourself extra travel time in bad weather.
It’s always important not to rush, especially with our harsh Colorado road conditions. Being behind schedule is recipe for driving too fast for the conditions.  It always pays to give yourself a little extra time to get to your destination and to call whomever your meeting with if you are behind schedule.
 
Remove all snow from your vehicle before each trip.
Snow hanging from your tires can cause problems when you least expect it. Make sure you do a walk around your vehicle to kick off excess snow and ice behind your tires and to remove all snow from creating blind spots in your windshield.  Remove snow from your hood, grill area, and all rear windows as well.  Sometimes we neglect these areas but they can create gaps in your visibility and lead to a collision.  As you accelerate snow can fly off the hood and make tough visibility even more difficult.  Don’t end up with a wrecked vehicle; clean the snow off your car completely.
 
Avoid using overdrive and cruise control on slippery roads. 
When driving in snow conditions it is important to stay in control and remain calm. Being in complete control of your vehicle by not being in overdrive or cruise control is crucial if you need to be on high alert.
 
SLOW DOWN and wear your seat belt.
You’ll get where you need to go, don’t speed in poor conditions.  This is critical.  Many studies have shown that speeding has very little impact on the time it takes to get from A to B.  It’s especially not worth it in winter driving conditions.  Seat belts are the most important safety feature of your vehicle, without them a collision can be very dangerous.  Still, people make excuses not to wear them.  Strap in this winter and be as safe as you can while driving in Colorado.
 
Thanks for taking the time to read this posting.  I hope it serves as a reminder of how to prepare and be safe this winter.  Central Auto Parts wants to look out for you and your vehicle as you navigate the Colorado roads this holiday season.  We’re here for you when the time comes to replace an engine or transmission or if you need any other used auto part.  We’ll do our best to suit your needs and get you back on the road ASAP!
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