Ways to Make Sure Your Car Survives the Sub-Zero Temperatures

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

The current cold streak is making us crank up the heat, throw on more layers, and try to stay indoors.

The last part isn't easy, and either is getting into a freezing car before your commute. Right now it's especially important to make sure your vehicle is weather ready.

Brickner's in Wausau is used to dealing with one specific problem during the extreme cold.

"Bad batteries. Batteries that are just not....don't have the cold cranking amps to start the car. It's the 10 below....they go out to try to start and they got nothing," said Bill Barr, service manager at Brickners.

The easiest way to make sure your vehicle will start this winter, is to get your battery tested. It's quick, it's simple, it should be done every time you get your oil changed, he says.

But aside from batteries, the service manager recommends filling your gas tank often.

"Typically in the cold winter months, you should try to keep it above half a tank," Barr said.

He also recommends letting your engine idle for five to ten minutes before taking off.

Good tire pressure means fuel efficiency, something to consider this winter.

"The biggest thing with tires summer, winter, fall it doesn't matter. Winter especially is tire pressure. Make sure the tire pressure is checked and maintained regularly."

Barr prefers checking and re-filling once a month.

Another recommendation?

"It doesn't hurt to get a throttle body or fuel induction service to keep your intake system clean so you get good air fuel mixture going into the engine."

And though its crucial to get your vehicle washed when it's caked in road salt and sand....

"When it gets below 20 degrees we close our car wash because it will freeze the car up. It'll freeze your doors, it'll freeze windows."

Keeping all of this in mind may make it easier to get through this frigid winter weather.

Lastly, an emergency kit may be more important than ever this time of year. Make sure yours includes a blanket, extra clothes, water, food, a flashlight and a first aid kit.

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