Car Winterizing: 3 Key Steps

Living in a harsh climate with extreme seasonal temperatures and weather conditions can do a number on a car. Winter, especially, with its biting cold, snow and ice, and general unpredictability, can wreak havoc on a vehicle. Owners and drivers should be prepared for the worst that Old Man Winter can throw at them. Winterizing a car, including an oil change in Longmont, CO, can do a lot to keep it running efficiently all season. Read on for more details and 3 key steps.

Winterizing in Longmont, CO: An Oil Change Can Keep a Car Running

1.    Change the Engine Oil

Changing the oil to a thinner formula will help the engine run better in colder temperatures, especially if it’s below freezing. This is because thicker, more viscous engine oil will thicken further when the thermometer drops, which equals sluggish performance. Switching out the oil during a fall oil change will help the engine turn over better when the mercury plunges.

2.    Use the Right Engine Coolant

Coolant helps protect vehicle engines from corrosion as well as overheating. Every vehicle requires a different ratio of engine coolant to water. In the winter, the right ratio needs to be attended to for optimal protection. This might be different from what is needed in the summer. Some vehicles might require a 60/40 or even a 70/30 ratio – car owners should check the manual or the manufacturer’s specifications, and they should never add coolant if they’re unsure of the correct ratio.

3.    Check the Battery

A car battery’s “cranking power” is the total power the battery is able to use in order to start the engine, according to Cars Direct (also referred to as “cold cranking amps,” as the power is measured in amps, and the performance is determined at a temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit). In cold weather, the cranking power of a car battery is reduced. It doesn’t help that freezing temperatures thicken engine oil, which also contributes to how difficult it is for the engine to turn over. To prevent problems, car owners need to make sure their battery is in good working order before the cold weather hits.

Extra Winterizing Tips

There’s not much that’s worse than getting in a frozen car early in the morning, only to find that it won’t start. Car owners can circumvent problems like this by winterizing their cars for maximum performance in cold temperatures and harsh conditions.

Changing the oil to a winter grade formula, using a winter ratio of engine coolant to water, and double-checking that the battery is charged and in good shape are all excellent habits for winter driving prep. Other tips include investing in a set of snow tires, installing a fresh set of windshield wiper blades to help keep vision clear, and warming up the engine before driving. Even a brief amount of idle time can help the oil warm up so it flows better. Follow these tips to keep a vehicle dependable and ready to go even when the mercury plummets.

A person’s vehicle is one of their most prized possessions. Not only do most people appreciate their car for its practicality, getting them to and from wherever they need to go, many people go so far as to love their car. In fact, many people name their cars and care for them as they would a member of their family.

Regardless of the level of devotion a person feels toward their car, it is imperative that they do all they can to get the best services and care for it. High quality maintenance and repair services will do much to keep a car in good working order for years to come. This includes a Longmont air conditioning service company that also focuses on car heating services.

How Longmont Air Conditioning Service Companies ID 4 Common Car Heating Issues

A car’s heating and cooling systems are closely related. This is one of the main reasons why a company will focus on both systems, as opposed to one or the other.

If a person presents their car with a heating issue, how does an air conditioning and heating company determine the exact problem?

  1. Check for Cooling System Leaks

Anti-freeze or coolant is used to reduce corrosion and boost the boiling point within the cooling system and engine. Leaks will not only stop the heater from working efficiently, the engine won’t be able to cool down.

  1. Evaluate the HVAC Door

An HVAC door opens and closes to direct air flow to various vents in the car. This door is typically made of plastic, which can break over time and lead to a vent or vents not working properly.

  1. Look for Water Pump Corrosion

A water pump forces coolant throughout a car’s heating system. Corrosion on the pump will eventually make it impossible for the pump to do its job. This can cause a car’s engine to overheat. In some cases, there is a leaky seal or a failed bearing on the water pump where coolant can seep out and cause the heating system to malfunction.

  1. Assess the Heater Core

Trapped air or clogs in the heater core can prevent the heating and air conditioning system from working properly. A service technician will feel the heater core tubes; one should be warm and the other hot. If one is hot and the other is cold, there is some sort of clog that needs to be addressed. Another problem is a leaking heater core. This is sometimes difficult to fix, so a professional should definitely be consulted. They may be able to repair the leak, or replacement may be the best option.

A Treasured Vehicle Deserves Top-Notch Car Heating and Air Conditioning Services

A person’s car is often more than just a means to get from place to place; it is their pride and joy. Such a beloved possession deserves the best care possible. At the first sign of heating issues, a car should be taken to a top-notch Longmont air condition service company.

When to Get a Wheel Alignment in Longmont

When a car’s wheels are out of alignment, it can cause a whole slew of other problems. For instance, the tires will wear unevenly, which means vehicle owners will have to replace one or two much sooner than necessary. Bad alignment also hurts a vehicle’s fuel economy, as the wheels that are not aligned will drag and cause friction. This means the vehicle has to work harder to move forward, which uses more gas. Circumvent problems with wheel alignment in Longmont by watching for the following signs while driving the car in question.

Longmont Alignment Problems: Things to Watch For While Driving

1. The car seems to want to pull to the left or right on its own.
This means the driver has to constantly correct the steering so the car doesn’t drift to the left or the right. The driver might also feel the steering wheel pulling to either side if they relax their grip. This is a good sign the alignment needs to be checked, but it can also mean a couple other things. For instance, if the car wants to list to one side, it might simply mean that the air pressure in one tire is low.

2. The front tires are unevenly worn – the tread might be entirely worn off on one of them.
This is a good sign that the tire in question is not aligned in the right direction, and is therefore being “dragged” at the wrong angle. Pay attention to a tire with a tread that is almost or completely worn away along an outside or inside edge.

3. Steering isn’t as responsive as it should be.
If turning the steering wheel isn’t smooth and easy, the problem might be the wheel alignment. If the steering feels heavy or difficult to turn, the alignment should be looked into. Additionally, after rounding a corner, the steering wheel of a vehicle with bad alignment will not re-center itself as it should.
Drivers and car owners should not forget that driving over potholes, large bumps, or rough road can all contribute to throwing the wheels out of alignment. The chances are also better for this problem when drivers must travel through areas of rough weather that effect road conditions, like heavy snow and ice. People who live where they may encounter these types of conditions need to have their alignment checked at least yearly.

Drivers and car owners should not forget that driving over potholes, large bumps, or rough road can all contribute to throwing the wheels out of alignment. The chances are also better for this problem when drivers must travel through areas of rough weather that effect road conditions, like heavy snow and ice. People who live where they may encounter these types of conditions need to have their alignment checked at least yearly.

Get It Checked Out

If a vehicle is displaying any of the above signs, it should be taken to a car repair or auto body shop to have the wheel alignment checked. This is essential to do, because some of these signs may also point to other problems. Either way, it’s important to get a vehicle looked at with any of the above warning signals, because if ignored, the issue may only worsen, and might end up affecting the power steering or the suspension components. In regard to driving and safety, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

5 Reasons Why a Regular Oil Change in Longmont Is So Important

One of the most needed, yet most neglected, car maintenance procedures is a regular oil change in Longmont. There are many people who think the recommendations of the car manufacturer are too stringent and that the oil doesn’t need to be changed too often. These people wait until their oil is running low or changes color before they decide to change it.

But is this really the best practice?

Oil Change in Longmont: 5 Reasons It Needs To Happen Regularly

Regular oil changes are actually extremely important if a vehicle owner wants their car to run well for a long time. There are 5 reasons in particular why regular oil changes are vital to the life of a vehicle.

  1. Oil Is To A Vehicle What Blood Is To A Human

Blood brings oxygen and nutrients to all of the body’s organs. People with blood disorders or low blood counts don’t function as well as people who don’t suffer from these things. Blood disorders cause low energy and inefficient function.

Oil is just as important to a car as blood is to a body. The oil keeps the car functioning in optimal condition, keeps the car from overheating and keeps the engine running like it was brand new.

  1. Better Lubrication Means a Better Riding Experience

A smoother ride is achieved, in large part, to a well-lubricated engine. Carbons and varnish are collected in the oil with every little engine explosion, thousands of which occur every few minutes. New, clean oil is the best engine lubricant.

  1. Old Oil Eventually Becomes Sludge

Besides the carbons and varnish that build up in the oil, dust, mud and other debris can build up in the oil. Soon, the smooth oily liquid becomes thick and heavy with the debris. This sludge will adversely affect the performance of the engine.

  1. Better Gas Mileage

Not only does the lubrication of the oil help with a smoother ride, it helps improve gas mileage. When the oil becomes like a thick sludge, it causes more friction within the engine. More friction equals worse gas mileage. Keeping up with regular, 3 month or 30,000 mile oil changes will help keep friction low and improve the gas mileage.

  1. A Cleaner Environment

Oil fuel emits harmful fumes into the environment. These noxious emissions pollute the environment and can cause illness, especially in people with asthma or other lung conditions.

Faithful Cars Are Well-Maintained Cars

It isn’t uncommon to hear people say that they have a faithful car. They are saying this because they’ve had little-to-no trouble with the vehicle over the years that they’ve owned it. Part of the reason people experience this is because they’ve purchased a car with a good reputation. Another reason why they have such a good car is because they take the time to do the necessary maintenance on it. Sticking to a maintenance schedule, one that includes a regular oil change in Longmont, will help keep a car in good working order for years to come.

Auto Repair in Longmont: Car Air Conditioning Efficiency

For many Longmont auto owners, the car’s air conditioning system is an essential side of surviving every summer. When the heat wave hits, the prospect of reaching the cool haven inside their car can become downright addictive. Unfortunately, a car’s air conditioning system is also one of the most likely parts of a car to malfunction, as well as being a remarkable fuel-drain.

There are, however, many ways to maximize the efficiency of an air conditioning system and diminish the chances of it breaking.

Air Conditioning Systems Don’t Work Well with Shocks

As a general rule, any cooling system placed on overdrive will waste energy all around. In order to minimize their fuel consumption, the key is to allow them to work in phases.

First, it’s important to prevent the interior of the car from overheating. During peak heat days, indoor parking is the best way to go. If forced to park outside, finding a shaded spot is recommended, as well as cracking the windows open. The idea is to prevent the interior from becoming too hot.

To avoid damaging the A/C system in addition to saving fuel, it’s recommended to place the A/C on low first and allow it to cool down the car interior for a few minutes. Once the air has cooled down a bit, turning on the “air recirculation” option will further lower energy consumption before finally setting it to the desired intensity.

Many Longmont motorists seek auto repair services because they can’t place the damp or moldy smell that comes out whenever the A/C is turned on. This is caused by the droplets of condensed moisture that stay inside the air conditioning’s evaporator, which then leak and make bacteria or fungi develop.

This can be prevented by keeping things slow once it’s time to leave the car. The air conditioning should be turned off before the engine is. Ideally, this should be done three to five minutes before reaching the final destination – temperature won’t increase as long as the windows are closed. Meanwhile, the fan should remain working at medium strength – this is essential to dry out the interior of the A/C system, which in turn will help keep it clean for longer.

Regular Maintenance Saves Money – Even Medical Bills

With the tips described above, the air conditioning system will be less likely to break down. However, regular maintenance is still a must. Coolant leaks can be a very serious issue, as they are not only very harmful to the environment, but should they reach other parts of the car’s engine, it can be very expensive to repair.

The coolant liquid should be replaced regularly, and the whole system tested for leaks. Under normal circumstances, coolant will not be toxic to humans just through contact (although it should never be drunk). Replacing this fluid will also give an opportunity to sanitize the entire container – bacteria left to thrive in there can raise the chances of upper respiratory infections.

Air conditioning systems have gone from a luxury to a staple of Longmont’s summers, so it’s best to keep them functioning properly. Scheduling regular maintenance with a reliable auto repair shop in Longmont is the best bet.

Auto Repair in Longmont: Car Winterizing

Longmont is a scenic place to live in, but it is undeniable its winters are hard. While none of its residents would ever dream of trying to go through an entire winter without coats and sweaters, the same consideration is rarely paid to cars.

Making sure cars are serviced and readied for the winter is essential to avoid being stranded in the snow. After all, cars are ignition-based machines and they rely on heat to function – it’s only natural they need an extra hand once temperatures drop below freezing level.

It’s More Than Just Adding Antifreeze – But It’s the First Thing That Should Be Done

Car winterizing is a multi-step process, but the most common one is to adjust the amount of anti-freeze. Engines require a mix of water and anti-freeze – but a truly cold winter can cause said water to freeze, therefore jamming the entire car.

Usually, cars in an area such as Longmont will require a ratio of 60% anti-freeze to 40% water. However, this can vary depending on the model and make, and some models require specific types of coolant. It’s best to consult the vehicle’s manual before pouring anything into its engine.

When It’s Cold, Batteries Must Work Twice As Hard

Before the first frost arrives, it’s important to check the batteries fully. Starting the engine under sharp weather conditions requires extra energy, so it’s best to ensure that there is enough voltage left in the battery. It’s also wise to ensure all parts of the battery are functioning properly: there should be no cracks or breaks in the cables, terminals should be fitting properly, and the battery fluid should be refilled.

Windshields and Wipers Should Be As Good As New

Businesses that specialize in auto repair in Longmont are quite familiar with this – as hail or freezing rain begins to fall, windshield wipers begin to fail, and accidents begin to happen. Low visibility can be very dangerous during the winter, so it’s best to be ready. Drivers should check the rubber seal around the windshield for potential cracks or leaks, replace the wiper blades, and add antifreeze to the wiper fluid reservoir.

Snow Tires Need to Be Installed in Time

Driving on slippery snow or icy roads is an adventure – but it is best not to make it an extreme one by switching to snow tires before the season starts. It’s best if they’re mounted on cheap steel wheels, as they will be easier to change back once spring returns, and it will be less painful once they unavoidably get corroded by melted snow and road salt.

Emergency Supplies Should Be in the Trunk

Even the most thorough winterization won’t completely compensate for the higher chance of suffering from a car accident during the winter. A first-aid kit should be securely placed in the back of the trunk, with all necessary supplies in good condition. It’s a good idea to also include a security triangle, cat litter, and blankets, as well as an ice scraper. People who drive in rural or deserted areas often should also include some food and flashlights to their basic winter car kit.

Winter can be a beautiful season, but its harsh conditions still require care. These basic measures will help avoiding painful accidents during the season.

Common Car Heater Malfunctions

Car heater problems have derailed many commutes and caused many trips to cancel. During the winter, they can become downright dangerous, as the car heater is in charge – among others – of blowing hot air towards the wind shield and helping melt ice off it.

However, unlike other types of engine malfunctions, car heater problems can be caused by a handful of different problems. This means they are hard to diagnose, and therefore hard to repair. Typically, motorists with this problem require a visit to an auto repair in Longmont in order to fix it properly.

Radiator Leaks Could Be Seeping Everywhere

A likely cause for a broken car heater lies in the radiator. This piece of the car requires both cooler fluid and water to function – and if either of those have gone missing or have not been changed in a while, the radiator will stop working. This in turn will hinder both the car heater and the air conditioning system. Forcing the engine to continue working in these conditions can cause serious damage, so it’s best to take care of it right away.

In addition, if the leak is affecting the cooler fluid, it’s important to tread carefully. This liquid is highly flammable, and if it seeps into other parts of the engine, it can cause more serious damage.

Thermostats Need to Be Regulated

The car’s thermostat is a small valve that closes when the engine is cold to allow it to heat quickly. It also shuts itself down as soon as it reaches a specific temperature to allow the heat to be released. Normal wear and tear can cause this valve to jam or to begin responding too slowly – which in turn keeps the car from heating up properly. Depending on the car model, this can be very hard to repair – some models place it in an easy-to-access location, other don’t.

Cleaning May Be In Order

A car’s temperature is regulated by the flow of coolant, or cooler fluid, around its different parts. However, if the ducts or small pipes that carry this fluid become jammed, the car heater will stop working as well.

This is a particularly likely possibility for cars that don’t undergo regular maintenance; grime and grease can easily jam these ducts if they have never been cleaned.

Grime and dust build-up can also jam one of the internal blower fans, another common wrecker of car heaters.

As Usual, Prevention Is Usually Cheaper

A car that is regularly taken to an auto repair in Longmont for maintenance and servicing is unlikely to develop any of the above-described problems, especially those involving the thermostat or the coolant.

Radiator problems are particularly important to prevent, because they can affect a car’s heater core. This is essentially the car’s “heart”: during initial production, it is the heater core that is first built and readied, and the rest of the car built around it. Other problems, such as jammed fans, are considerably easier to repair, but diagnosis can be difficult. Once again, it is a task best left to professionals.

Facts About Car Heaters and Auto Repair in Longmont

During a drive in cold or windy weather, having a reliable heater is vital for making sure that the ride is a comfortable one from start to finish. A high-quality heating system is a part of every major vehicle sold at commercial dealerships today. Because this feature is so common, many people don’t often stop to think about how it works. However, understanding how a heating system operates can make it less likely that drivers will need auto repair in Longmont to repair the heating units in their vehicles. This can help any driver save time and money in the long run.

What Are the Benefits of Understanding Car Heaters?

Car heaters are a basic, but important, amenity in any vehicle. While car-savvy individuals are likely to know how to check their oil or change a tire, many people are unfamiliar with the specifics of car heating units. When a heating unit malfunctions, many people find themselves dealing with a cold and uncomfortable ride until they pay a garage for auto repair in Longmont. However, understanding the basics of these heating units can help drivers tell when their heating systems are experiencing problems so they can get them serviced before the issues become too severe.

The Basics of Car Heating Systems

In order to create the warmth needed for the heating system, the heater core operates in a similar manner to the car’s engine. By utilizing a combination of hoses and coolant to help coordinate the movement of heat, the blower motor (fan) transfers heat into the vehicle. The output can be controlled by the standard heater controls. These basic parts make up the heating unit, and the interdependent design allows for smooth operation. However, this can also mean that a problem with one component can cause issues with the others if it is not treated properly.

Why Heater Maintenance Is Important

Car heaters can break down, even if they are made of high-quality components and are serviced regularly. However, a malfunctioning part that would be inexpensive to repair can create more problems and more expenses if left untreated. For example, a malfunctioning fan can cause the warm air produced by the core to remain in a confined area, where it can damage other parts. Checking all parts on a regular basis can prevent issues like this from occurring. When a part does break down, it’s important to get a proper replacement.

Getting Heater Repair and Servicing

Every heater is different, and getting the right type of replacement parts is important for making sure that systems operate correctly. When browsing independently, many find it helpful to look through online catalogs that let users perform searches based on the make and model of their vehicles. Alternatively, many garages can order the necessary parts. Getting regular servicing checks can be a great way to avoid repairs. Not only are these checks cheaper than repairs, but they are also a great way to make sure one gets the most out of his or her heater.

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Air Conditioning Services and Auto Repair in Longmont

There’s nothing worse than having to endure an uncomfortable ride. When it’s a bit stuffy inside and cracking a window isn’t the most comfortable or convenient option, many people rely on air conditioning to help them enjoy a more relaxed trip. Getting air conditioning systems serviced and repaired in an affordable manner is something that every driver looks for, and many companies that offer auto repair in Longmont provide specialized services in this specific category. Since car air conditioners are very different than air conditioners found in other machines, it’s wise to use trained professionals with extensive experience in servicing vehicle air flow systems.

Understanding the Complexities of Air Conditioners

It can be frustrating when an air conditioning system malfunctions. Many people depend on these handy, devices to keep them comfortable during long trips. Though some may think that these systems are simple, a number of specific parts work together to help air conditioning systems function properly. Many who usually perform their own auto repair in Longmont will sometimes attempt to fix their air conditioners themselves, but this is not advised unless one has detailed experience with these systems. Improper repair jobs can have very negative side effects. However, it is advised to know the signs which can indicate an air conditioning problem.

Discovering Air Conditioning Problems Early

One of the best ways to stop an air conditioning problem from becoming too costly and difficult to repair is to catch it early. This can be done by understanding warning signs. These include blowing warmer than usual air, blowing musty or damp smelling air, a faulty defroster, low airflow, and inconsistent airflow. If these issues occur, drivers should be ready to get professional repairs. However, there are several maintenance tips that can be used to keep an air conditioning system in good order so that repairs can be avoided.

Air Conditioning Maintenance Practices

There are a number of simple but effective servicing habits a person can use to keep a car’s air conditioning system in good shape. In addition to examining internal controls, the compressor belt should also be checked periodically. Leaks in seals and hoses should also be checked. In addition, coolant levels should be maintained properly based on industry standard recommendations for each particular vehicle model. Many manufacturers will include suggested specifications in the owner’s manual, and these can serve as good guidelines to use when checking for a problem.

Getting Air Conditioning Repairs

Even the most high-quality air conditioners that are serviced regularly can break down over time. When this happens, motorists are often encouraged to seek professional repairs. Many companies can provide estimates of timelines and prices so drivers can fit the repair jobs into their budgets and schedules with ease. In addition, given that this repair is very common, there are usually special deals and promotional offers available to make this service even more accessible. An air conditioning system is one of a driver’s most valuable assets – keeping it in good condition can be done by adhering to a maintenance routine and working with professional companies should a problem occur.

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Winter Variants of Auto Repair in Longmont

The winter season can be a very tense time for drivers. It can be very difficult for motorists to maintain their vehicles during the colder months of a year unless they modify their car maintenance habits. The same practices that are used during the spring, summer, and fall are not as effective during the winter. By understanding tips about winter vehicle maintenance and auto repair in Longmont, drivers can winterize their cars and avoid costly and burdensome issues when the temperature drops.

Utilizing Winter Tires

It’s no secret that one of the main problems winter poses for drivers is dangerous road conditions. While a driver can shovel his or her own driveway, he or she can do little about the roads themselves. One strategy that a driver can use, however, is to opt for winter tires. These tires utilize tread patterns and materials designed to maintain better traction on snow and help drivers enjoy safer trips during the winter. Though some may think that being more attentive on the road and driving at slower speeds is enough to avoid accidents during a snowstorm, snow tires are an affordable and valuable investment that many drivers are thankful they acquired. But cold temperatures can have other effects on vehicles; thankfully, there are remedies for this as well.

Using Proper Oil

Many who find themselves shelling out for auto repair in Longmont during the winters can trace their car problems to the type of oil they use. The winter climate can have a negative effect on oil, depending on how viscous it is. Thicker oil is more likely to freeze when temperature dip too low, and this can have extremely negative effects on an engine. It can be costly to get these issues fixed, so many drivers decide to switch to a thinner and more winter-friendly oil.

Protecting the Paint Job

While some may think that the effects of cold weather on mechanical components and the difficulties snow covered roads pose for drivers are the only major issues to consider during the winter, a vehicle’s paint job can be at risk during this time. While snow itself isn’t harmful, the salt and sand frequently used on roads after winter storms can cause serious damage to the exterior of a vehicle. While several products exist on the market to help drivers winterize their vehicles, a simple waxing before a snowstorm and periodic washings throughout the winter are often more than enough to keep a car in good shape.

Keep an Eye on the Battery

Even a high-quality battery can die when the temperature drops below freezing. Even if a motorist doesn’t need to head out on the road, experts recommended starting one’s car and letting it run for at least a few minutes a day. It’s also wise to keep a check on how much fluid is retained as well as how cables are holding up during this type of weather. The winter can be a very difficult time for drivers, but a few simple tips can help any driver winterize their vehicle in an affordable manner.

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