DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado car experts are warning vehicle owners to have their cars ready to go ahead of the arctic temperatures expected to arrive on Wednesday.
“I’ve been in the auto industry for 50 years,” Ron Kronon, the owner of Auto Experts in Lakewood, said.
Kronon said the best thing to do is to take steps ahead of time. One of the most important things is to have your tanks full of either gas or diesel. He said you can always put additives in the tank to help the car run better.
“Get some treatment in the gas so it doesn’t freeze or get any jelly in the fuel line system for diesel vehicles,” Kronon said. “To keep the fuel line from freezing, top it off with some gasoline and take it for a drive so that gets into the fuel system and into the engine itself.”
Another thing to pick up while at a gas station or the mechanic is a car key ignition lubricant.
“I would suggest maybe a little silicon. I suggest something with silicon and a straw to put it in the cylinder,” Kronon said.
He said you also need to have your windshield wiper fluid filled and know the history of your car’s battery. Batteries are harder to start, he said, when the temperatures drop.
“If your battery is at least two years or older I would get it tested,” Kronon said.
Kronon said prior to the cold temperatures you can purchase an engine block heater and either install it yourself or have it professionally installed.
“When it gets colder, the electricity tends to drop on it,” Kronon said.
To help support your radiator overnight, Kronon said to park your car in the opposite direction of the wind. If that isn’t possible in uncovered engines, you can stick cardboard in to protect it. He said just make sure you remove the cardboard before driving off.
If the engine of your car is covered, he suggested putting a blanket over the hood or car cover while the car is parked.
“There is a little book in your glovebox. It’s called the owner’s manual and it’s the most unread book in the USA,” Kronon said.
Come Thursday morning once those temperatures have dropped, he said don’t panic if you come outside to your car and it won’t turn on.
“First thing, honk the horn. If the horn honks then there is some juice in it and you could probably get it jumped,” Kronon said.
Before you hit the road, AAA said you need to have items in your car ready to go also.
“It’s going to be deadly out there to the extent where breakdowns will occur. In fact, when we see this cold weather, these temperatures are tough on your car’s batteries,” said Skyler McKinley, the regional director of public affairs for AAA.
McKinley suggested having jackets, blankets, gloves, hand warmers, scarves, food, water, a flashlight, extra batteries and a charging block for your phone.
“Don’t panic, we have great emergency infrastructure in Colorado,” McKinley said.
If you get stuck on the road, McKinley said to contact roadside assistance like AAA or local authorities for help. He said the safest place for you to be is in your car but if there is active heavy snow blowing, you need to clear the exhaust pipe frequently.