• 6 Cold Weather Driving Hacks

    Posted on 20, February, 2018

    We may have gotten spoiled with the occasional 60 degree day so far this winter, but this week we’re all freezing our tailpipes off. Don’t let the frigid weather get you down, and instead, try one of these cold weather driving hacks to get you through the next blizzard.

    1. Place Socks Over Windshield Wipers

    Windshield wipers won’t do you any good if they’re frozen to the windshield. Prevent this icy situation by covering each wiper with an old sock. If you park outside overnight or if a snowstorm hits while you’re at work for the day, you won’t have to risk breaking the wipers when deicing them.

    2. Cover Sideview Mirrors with Ziploc Bags

    Save your sideview mirrors in a similar fashion. Before the temperatures drop, place plastic ziploc bags over your sideview mirrors. Using an ice scraper on the mirrors can be difficult and could also damage the mirror angle. Keeping them ice-free prevents this!

    3. Spray Car Door Edges with Cooking Spray

    Nothing is worse than when you want to escape the blizzard, but your car doors just won’t budge. As it turns out, you can prevent car doors from sticking the same way you can prevent brownies from sticking to the pan: cooking spray. Spray the rubber edging of the car doors with cooking oil to help them open more easily once the temperatures drop.

    4. Gain Traction with Cardboard

    When snow drifts hit, you can bet your tires will spin in place while you try in vain to get moving. Help your tires gain some traction by sliding slabs of cardboard underneath them. If that doesn’t work, try kitty litter to build friction.

    5. Unfreeze Car Locks with Hand Sanitizer

    Car locks can freeze just as easily as car doors. To avoid damaging your lock or your key, try squirting a small amount of hand sanitizer in the key lock to thaw it out. Be careful to not get any on the paint!

    6. Use a Credit Card to Thaw the Windshield

    And finally, when you’re in a pinch but you don’t have an ice scraper, a credit card makes for a great substitute!

    Drive safe during this cold weather, and stop by Houska to make sure your vehicle is in working condition.

  • Be Prepared for Driving Emergencies

    Posted on 09, February, 2018

    Even in the friendly town of Fort Collins, we know that the road can get pretty crazy from time to time. Our number one priority at Houska is for you to stay safe out there, so we’d like to share a few ways you can be prepared for some common driving emergencies.

     

    Avoid rear-ending the car in front of you.

    The best way to prepare for a driving emergency is to do all you can to prevent one. Rear-ending the vehicle in front of you is an all too common mistake, but this can be easily avoided by leaving plenty of distance between your car and theirs. This is especially important during stop-and-go city driving or when weather conditions aren’t the best.

     

    Handling a tire blowout.

    The sudden noise of a tire blowout alone can send you into panic mode. Rather than slam on the brakes and take a quick turn, slowly ease up on the gas pedal and let it coast. Gently pull onto the shoulder until your car comes to a stop and you can change the tire.

     

    Driving off the road.

    We hope this never happens to you, but if you ever find that your vehicle is running off the road, stay calm and follow these instructions. Let up off the accelerator, keep the steering wheel straight, allow your car to slow up on its own and then smoothly steer back onto the road.

     

    Your car stalls.

    Frustrating as it is, this happens to many people at some point. If you find that your engine has stalled, don’t panic. Put your flashers on so other drivers know to go around you, and try to first restart the engine (sometimes this works!). If it just won’t start up, call a tow truck and bring it to Houska. We’ll be able to get you back on the road in no time.

     

    Driving emergencies happen, but the key is to be prepared and remain calm. Stay safe, Fort Collins!

  • Why We Love Fort Collins

    Posted on 05, February, 2018

    February has arrived, which means Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. While you’re ordering roses and making reservations for romantic dinners, we’d like to say a few words of appreciation for our beloved hometown. We could fill books with all the things we love about Fort Collins, but here are just a few that come to mind:

    Locally Owned Businesses

    As you are well aware, Houska Automotive was started by Dennis’s dad back in 1952 and has stayed in the family ever since. We’re happy to say that local, family-owned businesses are not a rarity in Fort Collins and would like to extend a virtual high-five to our fellow Fort Collins business owners. We understand all the hard work that goes into running a restaurant, shop or anything in between, and we want you to know that you have our support!

    Food, Food and More Food

    Fort Collins is home to countless delicious restaurants and specialty food shops. Between mouthwatering restaurants, cheese shops, spice shops, tea shops, food trucks and dessert joints, you can always count on having a full belly no matter where you go.

    Jammin’ Music Scene

    From the Lagoon Summer Concert Series to NewWestFest to FocoMX, Fort Collins has the market cornered on fantastic local musicians. We’ve had the opportunity to feature a few of these talented musicians at our Garage Band Events, and we look forward to presenting more stellar performers in the future!

    The Great Colorado Outdoors

    With numerous local parks, natural areas and – of course – the iconic Horsetooth Reservoir, Fort Collins is an outdoor adventure waiting to happen. It may be a bit chilly now, but it’s not too soon to start making your summer bucket list!

    Our Generous Community

    And last but certainly not least, our favorite thing about Fort Collins is…YOU! We’ve had the opportunity to give back to our community through fundraisers, blood drives and other events, but none of them would have been possible without the generous support of countless individuals and organizations. Thank you for always giving to our neighbors in need!

     

    We could go on and on about all the things we love about Fort Collins. What are a few highlights that make it on your list?

  • Safely Navigate a Blizzard

    Posted on 12, January, 2018

    We’ve already gotten a taste of snow so far this winter, and Colorado’s snowiest months are just around the corner. To make sure you stay safe out there, follow these guidelines:

    Check lights, fluids and systems beforehand.

    You never know when a blizzard might hit or how severe it will be, so be sure to prepare your vehicle ahead of time. Check that all lights work (they’re your best tool for blizzard driving); all fluids are full; and the ignition system, exhaust system, etc. are functioning properly. Pay attention to dashboard lights as well to fix any problem as soon as possible.

    Check tire pressure.

    The frigid weather causes a pressure drop in tires that can be hazardous. Before embarking on a winter journey, check that the tire pressure is at its recommended amount. If you will be traveling to a place that is in for some heavy snowfall, it may even be worth investing in snow tires to better handle the elements.

    Drive on the upper half of the tank.

    When the weather gets dicey, don’t let the fuel needle drop below the half tank mark. You never know if you’ll break down and need to run the heat longer than planned. Besides, the last thing anyone wants to do is push their vehicle to a gas station in a blizzard.

    Don’t accelerate or brake suddenly.

    It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a 4WD monster truck or a sedan from the ’80s – accelerating or braking too quickly can pose a danger for you and those around you. Remember that under every layer of snow is a thicker and more dangerous layer of ice that can send you into a skid. Always drive slower than what seems necessary and apply gradual pressure to the pedals.

    Prepare for a breakdown.

    In case you do happen to get stuck or stranded, have an emergency kit in your trunk complete with a first-aid kit, heavy coats and gloves, blankets, a flashlight, an ice scraper, sand, food and water, and a brightly colored cloth to use as a flag.

    And of course, if you don’t really need to be somewhere when it starts to snow, then stay home.

    Not sure if your vehicle is ready for the winter? Stop by Houska and we’ll make sure you’re good to go!

  • 5 Auto Resolutions for 2018

    Posted on 02, January, 2018

    A new year has arrived, and you know what that means…it’s time to come up with your 2018 resolutions! While it’s great to include the usual goals – get in shape, read more books, take that tap dance class you’ve always wanted to – we challenge you to expand your horizons this year. How about adding these automotive-related resolutions to your list?

    1. Schedule Oil Change Every 3,000-5,000 Miles

    We get it – life is busy and some things fall off your radar. However, you’re only hurting your vehicle if you let it run on old oil. In order to keep it in best condition, we recommend bringing it in for an oil change every 3,000-5,000 miles. Give us a call today 970-672-4866 to schedule your next appointment.

    2. Clean Out Car Once a Month

    Between kids’ soccer practices and a drive-thru meal or two, it’s easy for your vehicle to start looking like a landfill. Make a vow to do a thorough car cleanout at the end of every month – get rid of all the trash, vacuum it out, scrub the floor mats, etc. If you’re really feeling crazy, try polishing up your vehicle’s exterior as well. Here are a few tips to get your started.

    3. Cut Out Driving Distractions

    We care about your driving safety as much as we care about your car’s functionality. This year, promise yourself to stay safe on the road by eliminating driving distractions. Say goodbye to texting while driving, playing with the radio, eating a sandwich, you name it. Save all those tasks for your destination.

    4. Check Your Tire Pressure Once a Month

    This one is especially important in cold weather when tire pressure tends to decrease. Low tire pressure can lead to other issues that can end up costing you big bucks. To stay on the safe side, check your tire pressure every month to ensure it stays at the weight recommended in your owner’s manual. If your tires have trouble maintaining pressure, bring them in to Houska so we can check for leaks.

    5. Pay Attention to Dashboard Lights

    There’s a reason they’re called idiot lights – if you ignore them, then you might just be an idiot. When a light pops up on your dashboard, look up its meaning in the owner’s manual and bring it in immediately. We can save you a lot of future cash and headaches if we catch the problem early enough, so don’t wait until it’s too late.

    Cheers to a great year, and remember, Houska is here to help with all auto needs, big or small.