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Dec 6, 2011 12:35 PM by Andy Koen

Cold weather car care

Freezing temperatures can quickly take a toll on our cars, the battery in particular. Service managers at Daniels Long Chevrolet in Colorado Springs says the average car battery lasts about three years in our climate.

Zan Zanandrie, who oversees the parts and service departments at all of the Phil Long dealerships, says extreme temperature swings can wear out the cells faster. He recommends having your mechanic test the battery strength the next time you bring your car in for service.

Other parts that wear out quickly in the cold are wiper blades. Zanandrie says you should avoid running the wipers if the windshield is iced over because it wears them out faster. He also recommends replacing the wipers twice a year.

"I don't think most people think of it as a safety item, but I think visibility, you certainly want to make sure you can see when you're driving down the road," Zanandrian said.

Other safety checks include testing the headlights and taillights. Newer cars have lights that longer but can be expensive to replace.

When it comes to fluids, anti-freeze is much more durable, often lasting up to 100,000 miles. It can also be quickly tested for effectiveness. Zanandrie also recommends checking your tires for good tread depth.

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