WATCH: Basic car maintenance to make sure your car lasts through the winter

DENVER - The Now loves life hacks.

We've shown you how to winterize your lawn, how to keep pets warm during the winter, and cold-weather experiments for young scientists.

Getting the car ready for winter can be a daunting task. Dave Hotchkiss of Denver's Hotchkiss Repairs says the two most-common automotive fluids are often confused. 

"Antifreeze and washer," said  Hotchkiss, "do not get them messed up, or you'll have to take a trip down here."

The fluids look similar, but both should be topped off once the cold weather starts.

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Coloradans are not strangers to winter-storm warnings that require chains to be placed on tires, but many drivers don't know exactly what that means. The old style of chains were difficult, but the new designs take less than a minute to attach to a tire.

"They look a little complicated, but they're easy," says Hotchkiss. "Set them in front of the car and drive right over them."

On cold mornings, commuters like to warm up their cars' engines. The mechanic says he has a trick to speed things up.

"Start it up and put it in gear. Put a load on it right away," says Hotchkiss. "It will warm up three times faster than sitting there idling."

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