NewsCovering Colorado

Actions

How to prepare your car for winter

Low Tire Pressure.jpeg
Posted at 7:09 AM, Nov 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-17 10:47:33-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Winter is quickly approaching and as we start to see more cold conditions, it’s important to make sure your car is up to speed to keep you safe on icy roads.

As the temps continue to drop, you might find yourself in an unlucky situation. Yesterday, I spoke with James Berry, a local resident who was hours late to work because of car troubles caused by the cold.

“When I went out to start my car this morning, not much happened. I got the radio for a second and then just the clicking noise. This has happened to me a few times before, so I was pretty sure that just the battery had drained in the cold,” said Berry.

James has spent seven winters here, and he says having your car winterized is very important for driving in the winter.

I spoke with several auto shops throughout Colorado Springs, who recommended you have a car safety checklist.

It’s important to make sure your fluids are filled, you have windshield wiper fluid, your oil is changed, and your battery is good to go. You also what to make sure your breaks are up to speed, your gas tank is at least half full, and you have good winter wipers.

Having a good set of tires can also keep you safe on icy roads. For those who commute a long distance, you should consider getting tires with studs.

In the event of an emergency, it’s helpful to have a kit in your car. The kit should include blankets, snacks, water bottles, hand warmers, extra clothing and jumper cables.

Download the KOAA News5 iOS app here / Download the KOAA News5 Android app here
Download the First Alert 5 WX iOS app here / Download the First Alert 5 WX Android app here
____

Helpful reminders if you’re on the road in winter weather:

  • Allow extra time. Leave early and plan on needing extra time to get to your destination when conditions deteriorate.
  • Drive slowly and leave space. Driving takes longer when roads are snowy or slick. Lower your speed as needed and keep your headlights on. Leave extra room between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Slowly speed up and slow down. Apply the brakes early and evenly to stop. Accelerate at a slow and consistent rate. Maintain momentum when possible. All of these will help your tires maintain traction and avoid skidding.
  • Gas up and have an emergency kit. Keep your tank fueled, especially when a storm is coming. The more gas you have, the longer you can run the heater in the car if you’re ever stranded.
  • Have an emergency kit in case you’re ever stuck. This could include water, food, warm clothing, a flashlight, charger, first aid kit, and anything you’d need if you were stranded for any length of time.

Whether you’re a pro at winter driving or it’s your first winter in Colorado, it’s still important to be prepared and take it slow when you head out for our snowy days ahead.

In Colorado, your all-season tires may not be enough. With that in mind, there are two major laws every Colorado driver needs to know for the winter.

TRACTION LAW:

Wherever the Colorado Department of Transportation or the Colorado State Patrol puts them into effect all vehicles on the highway or interstate listed must have either snow tires, four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, or another alternative traction device.

If you’re caught without those, or with tires that have less than a 1/8th of an inch of tread, you could be fined up to $650 if you cause an accident or block the road.

CHAIN LAW:

Implementation of the passenger vehicle chain law is pretty rare, as it is the last resort for CDOT before shutting down a road.

Under this law, every single vehicle on the road must have chains or an alternative traction device. The fines for violators are again up to $650 if you cause an accident or block the road.

While these laws will be used mostly in the mountains they can be implemented on any Colorado highway by CDOT or local authorities.

For more information on traction and chains laws in Colorado, visit CDOT’s page.

Everyone should carry a Survival Kit in their car year-round, but in Colorado, you need to tailor that for winter driving.

  • a shovel (There are small foldable shovels)
  • windshield scraper
  • flashlight with extra batteries
  • battery powered radio
  • water
  • snack food including energy bars
  • raisins and mini candy bars
  • matches and small candles
  • extra hats, socks and mittens
  • First aid kit with pocket knife
  • Necessary medications
  • blankets or sleeping bag
  • tow chain or rope
  • road salt, sand, or cat litter for traction
  • booster cables
  • emergency flares and reflectors
  • Cell phone adapter to plug into lighter

Download the KOAA News5 iOS app here / Download the KOAA News5 Android app here
Download the First Alert 5 WX iOS app here / Download the First Alert 5 WX Android app here

Watch KOAA News5 on your time, anytime with our free streaming app available for your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV. Just search KOAA News5, download and start watching.