Mechanics advise drivers to prepare for the cold weather

January 5, 2009

By Chris Vessell bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The frigid temperatures can take a toll on your car. Mechanics say you can't cut corners when it comes to car care and cold weather. Before you go looking under the hood, here are some tips to help you prepare your car for a cold snap.

With temperatures below freezing this week, you don't want to end up parked on the side of the road. That's why doing some minor checks on your car can go a long way. Mechanic Kevin Drawdy at Tire Pro on Bradley Park Drive, says you should make sure you're car battery is fully charged.

"This is your battery tester. It will also test your alternator and your starter to make sure there are no other issues that have come up, Right now this battery is holding right where it's supposed to be at twelve and half volts," Kevin Drawdy, a Tire Pro Mechanic said.

A standard battery lasts five to six years. You'll want to change it if its any older. "If you don't get the cooling system checked between the summer and the winter, and it freezes that's the whole car gone," Drawdy said.

Next, make sure your radiator has plenty of anti-freeze. Drawdy says not doing this can be costly. "It will bust the radiator, split heads, it turns into a very nasty thing over not having the coolant checked," he added.

And the mechanic warns you against forgetting the tires. Cool temperatures cause the air pressure to decrease, so you may need add some air. "If your tire pressures are down, you've got a better chance at tire failure. You're going to lose gas mileage. It's just not going to be a safe trip," he said.

And just in case it snows, you'll also want to check you windshield wipers. "If you get one that's ripped its just a definite that it needs to be replaced," said Drawdy.

Of course, newer cars have dashboard warning lights that can help you with car maintenance. It also wouldn't hurt to have a scraper for those cold mornings and warm up your car too.