If we could all agree on one thing that is true of Colorado, it would be that we have some of the most variable weather in the nation. One day it’s sunny and 60 degrees, and it will dump 6 inches of freezing snow the next. But the locals know how to cope: dress in layers, always be prepared, and take good care of the vehicle that gets you around! Regardless of the time of year, 4×4 service centers are busy helping us keep our trucks in tip-top shape, no matter what Mother Nature throws our way.
Most of us are comfortable with the basics of all-weather car care: the best snow scrapers, the right wax to use, even a few handy aftermarket parts that make seasonal driving a breeze (even in a literal breeze!). But something that we don’t always consider is the extra stress our vehicles take on during wild temperature and humidity swings. When one 24-hour day can be both warm and dry and wet and cold, your car can feel the pain.
The entire slew of potentially damaging changes that your car can experience during a mercurial weather snap can be summed up with one word: pressure. Temperature and pressure share a direct relationship; meaning when one goes up the other goes up. Just ask any mechanic specializing in auto repair in Fort Collins — a 30 degree temp swing over a short period of time can shock everything from your tires and fluids to the glass, and even the upholstery. And while you may be powerless to control the wild Colorado climate, you can take a few easy steps to protect your truck.
Perform regular quick checks.
A mechanical issue might be the last thing any of us want to deal with when driving to work or heading out on the trails. So take a few minutes to perform your own little 4×4 service session before taking off. Check the tire pressure, fluid levels, and fuel level for anything too low, too high, or simply out of the ordinary, and the more often you do this, the more familiar you’ll be with your vehicle. This means you’ll be more easily able to spot something amiss and know when your truck needs to be in the shop or when you can adjust things at home. There are even a few inexpensive aftermarket parts that help you keep track of these things and can be displayed on a smart phone or other digital readout.
Invest in quality products.
For those living in areas that experience serious cold snaps, it is a wise investment to look into adding extra protection to susceptible car parts. There are fluid additives that prevent freezing and help maintain a safe running pressure regardless of weather — everything from regular anti-freeze to special low temp-rated radiator, transmission, windshield fluids, and engine block heaters. Additionally, if you have leather or vinyl seats, there are waxes, balms, and other treatments available to maintain softness and prevent the cracking caused by rapid temperature changes. If you don’t have access to a climate-controlled garage area, you may want to invest in a durable car cover, and while most of these primarily protect from precipitation, they even make ones that double as cooling tents!
Always look ahead.
It’s never a bad idea to keep an eye on the forecast, even if the meteorologists don’t always get it right. Generally you’ll be able to see when something drastic is on deck for your area, so you’ll be able to be prepared. If you spot a serious heat wave or snap freeze heading your way, spend a few minutes in the garage or even consider heading to your local shop for auto repair in Fort Collins. Always keep your tank at least 1/3 full to prevent freezing, top off your fluids, and fix any bad windshield cracks while you can.
Colorado is a pretty amazing place, with miles of rugged mountain trails, breathtaking vistas, and a culture that prides itself on adventure and self-reliability. Wild weather however, is a small price to pay for the countless hours of off-road fun, especially if you are aware and prepared for when things get a little hairy. Get to know your truck inside and out and work with your favorite 4×4 service center to make sure the erratic temperatures don’t throw a wrench in your driving lifestyle.