Be prepared for winter-weather driving

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— If you've ever driven in heavy falling and blowing snow, you appreciate being able to see well while driving.

However, being visible to other drivers is just as important.

AAA reminds motorists to check their vehicles before the onset of winter driving conditions. AAA Colorado offers these easy maintenance tips for improving vehicle visibility on the road.

Check the windshield

Before weather gets really cold, check the windshield for small chips and pits. In addition to being collection points for ice and snow that impede vision, those chips can turn into large cracks when the defroster comes on.

Replace windshield wipers

Driving with a wet, snow-or ice-covered windshield invites a crash. Make sure the wipers and the defroster are in good working order. When parked in the winter, if possible leave wipers up off the window so they do not freeze to the window. Wiper blades are not meant for snow removal and damage will occur to blades and possibly the wiper arms if used as such. Allow extra time to clean off all windows.

Add correct fluids

While weather still is warmer, use remaining washer fluid in the vehicle, or have it drained, and replace it with no-freeze washer fluid. Windshield washer fluid comes in many freezing points, and lower freezing points do more than just not freeze, they actually can help melt the ice on the windshield. Do not pour hot water on a windshield to melt ice, as it can shatter the window.

Check headlights and tail lights

Make sure headlights and tail lights are in good working order. Keep lenses on headlights and tail lights clean and free of snow through the winter.

Maintain mirrors

Make sure mirrors are in working order and free of snow and debris.

For more information on automotive issues and to find a AAA-approved auto repair facility in your area, go to www.aaa.com/carmaintenance.

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