If you're one of those people who waits until your car breaks down before you pay attention to it, stop that bad habit now! Maintaining the condition of your crusier is crucial when cold weather mixed with precipitation sets in for the winter.
Charlie Holthausen, owner of Black Diamond Automotive, says checking basic fluids and keeping them filled will cut down on damage which means fewer repairs. Keep an eye on your car's oil, antifreeze and its transmission, brake and power steering fluids. Read your owner's manual or have a mechanic show you how to check those fluids.
"Making sure that the air filter is clean is important" as well, Holthausen said. "You can take 10 cars off the road and nine will be dirty."
Maintaining accurate tire pressure is crucial for the wear of the tire, he said. If the tire is properly insulated, it can get two to three miles of extra wear. Along with fan belts and hoses, reputable auto shops will do free checkups on a car's condition.
According to the National Highway and Safety Administration, nine out of 10 breakdowns on the highway are caused by faulty fan belts and empty fluid reservoirs. Holthausen said people need to check those about once every two weeks. Make it a habit to check things out under the hood when you fill up at least every other time. Dustin Dahlin, manager of Grease Monkey, recommends a regular tire rotation every 20,000 miles.
Along with tire rotation, good tires are a must in cold and weathered conditions, said Bob Logan, owner of Bob's Downtown Conoco.
The biggest concern for cars in the winter? Antifreeze, Dahlin said, adding that it should be checked and/or filled with every oil change (every 3,000 to 5,000 miles).
In this climate, coolant should be a 50/50 mixture, 50 percent pure antifreeze and 50 percent water. Especially in places like Steamboat, if you have mostly water, the antifreeze will not be as strong.
Compiled by Kelly Silva