Are you ready?

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Are you ready?

I always think about how much the seasons affect how I live my life.  The anticipation felt when the air starts to warm and the flowers start to bloom in the spring.  The excitement of longer summer days and warm summer evenings to enjoy sitting on the patio, engaging in great conversation with friends.  The prepardness of fall, our most beautiful season, creating a sense of nesting in our brains.  The coziness of winter, enjoying time snuggling by a fire, or long winter nights in front of a great book.

My favorite season in Colorado is fall.  The weather is perfect, the colors changing, the cool nights and warm days.  But it also breathes into me the need to become prepared for what’s to come.  I watch the squirrels busily gathering their food for the winter.  I notice the truck loads of firewood coming down the pass.  I watch the hummingbirds leave their constant supply of nectar for warmer climates.  Winter is coming, and if it’s like what’s predicted, we will have much more snow to contend with this time around.

Working in auto repair, I know how important it is to prepare for winter.  Are my tires okay?  Will they take me safely home if I get stuck in a snowstorm?  Right now, mine won’t.  I had to order tires for my personal vehicle this month.  What about your tires?  How thick is the tread?  Do you have abnormal wear?

What about my battery?  Is my battery in health good?  Can I count on it to start my car every single time?  Aren’t all batteries created the same?  A good battery test will not only measure cold cranking amps or CCA, but it will also measure the state of health of a battery.  Did you know that fully charged battery is 12.6 volts?  If your battery is 12.2 volts is only 50% of charge-indicating the battery is low on charge.  That may also be a indication that the battery or alternator is going bad, especially if the car is being driven every day.  Plus, batteries aren’t created equal.  The battery you pick up at a discount store or parts store may fail at any time.  Some are even remanufactured Interstate batteries!  A good battery will cost some money, but the peace of mind is worth that expense, every single time you start your car.

What about my coolant and other fluids?  If your coolant is low, it’s an indication of a leak in the system and as a result you may experience intermittent heat output from your vents.  That long road trip might be miserable if you don’t have consistent heat.  Making sure the coolant level is correct and pinpointing if there is a leak helps keep your car running and your heat consistent.

What steps can you take to insure your car is winter driving ready?  That’s easy!  When you schedule your next oil change, mention you want to make sure your car is ready for winter.  If your current shop doesn’t offer an extended safety evaluation, ask for one!  Any great shop will offer a health report on your car every time it’s in for an oil change.

Jamie Dodd, Director of Business Services