Good morning. I’m Saul Reisman here at Saul’s Automotive in Denver, Colorado, your local auto repair shop. Today we’re going to be talking about the first few aspects of winter, the cold season and how you can best prepare your vehicle.
First off, always cover the basics. Here at Saul’s Automotive, we’re more than happy to check your wipers, your turn signals, your lights, your brakes, anything in your suspension, all your basic safety measures for free. That’s simply what we do.
The few things that you can do yourself to stay prepared are topping off and checking your windshield washer fluid and making sure that you’re using the appropriate rated fluid. A lot of local auto repair shops and self-service auto parts stores here in Denver sell both above-freezing- and below-freezing-rated washer fluid. Definitely make sure you have the correct one in your vehicle, an inexpensive mistake that can become costly in some of these newer cars.
From our end, not only would we be checking the suspension, the steering, the brakes, your basic safety measures, but we’ll also be looking at a few of the things you don’t quite think about when it comes to winter time. We often think of making sure the heater is functioning properly and the defroster, so that we can stay warm throughout the season, and for many of us, this is more of a priority than having the air conditioning functioning properly. However, there are some misconceived notions here. For instance, any time your Denver vehicle operates its defroster, it’s actually using the air conditioning compressor to dehumidify the air out of the vehicle, and that’s physically what’s removing the frost as the dew point is lessened inside the motor vehicle cabin itself. What this means is if your AC compressor hasn’t been working and you made it through the summer sweating it out, we’re proud of you, but you will need your defroster functional in the wintertime. If this is something that AC function is cost prohibitive to repair, crack all four windows down about an inch on all four corners of the vehicle, run your heat on full blast, and that will effectively dehumidify the vehicle very quickly. However, it will leave you a little bit cooler inside than had your defroster been working properly. Just a piece of food for thought.
Another aspect we’re going to talk about is your air filter and your cabin air filter. These simple, inexpensive components actually play a major part when it comes to heating and cooling. The engine’s air filter, sure, is definitely mandatory to keep the engine in top performance, but also provides vacuum to the heating and air conditioning system. Your modern HVAC systems run on engine vacuum. When the engine is running, it’s constantly sucking in air. If the air filter on the front of the engine is clogged, it has to work very, very hard to suck in air and doesn’t produce as much vacuum to support the heating and air conditioning system. Keeping a clean engine air filter definitely helps with that.
In the passenger compartment, aside from the basics of maybe getting a mildewy or moldy smell, of which there are several ways you can clean out the area around your cabin air filter or your cabin cowl panel to combat that, having a clean cabin air filter truly provides the volumetric efficiency of the blower motor inside your dashboard. That blower motor operates on different voltages to allow different airflow speeds to you, the person in the vehicle. As a result, when there’s very, very little air flow as a result of a clogged cabin air filter, it will often increase the voltage to that blower motor and the resistor to it. This heats up that resistor, heats up the wiring to it and eventually leads to the demise of the blower motor and the resistor. That’s the most common automotive repair of heating systems in North America. So if you want to keep your blower motor and resistor alive longer, keep those air filters clean. It’ll definitely help you out.
We’re going to come back in a minute and talk to you a little bit more about some other winter aspects that are really important here to stay safe on the roads in Colorado in the wintertime. If you have any questions of concerns about your vehicle, would like to get it in for a free winter inspection before any services are done and before the snow hits the ground, please give us a call seven days a week at 303-919-7769. Thank you.
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