Whether it's brand-new or a certified road warrior, hitting the roads Tuesday morning could be a challenge for any car. But there are steps you can take to ensure your ride stays in good shape during the winter months.
Mechanics say the first parts of the car that feel the effects of winter are the tires. The air in the tires condenses, causing pressure to drop.
"Tire pressure is just going to, it can wear the side walls, lower air pressure,” said Todd Archer, shop manager at Bob’s Wheel Alignment.
It's recommended that tires get checked once every month. Car fluids can also thicken or even freeze if temperatures drop too low. Mechanics say battery acid can become dense, making it hard for a car to start.
"Just see a lot of weak starts, when it's a really cold morning, and sometimes that's a weak battery, even though it's not giving you any other trouble up to that point,” Archer said.
There is one fluid, however, that both mechanics and auto parts retailers agree is the most important during the winter.
"Make sure you have antifreeze in it, because this time of year things freeze up inside, and it's just very good to check anyway,” said Frank Henson, store manager at Auto Zone.
If your antifreeze is low or the wrong temperature, the result could be devastating.
"Worst case, it can freeze in the block and it can do motor damage,” Henson said.
That kind of damage could mean thousands of dollars in repairs. To avoid these problems, mechanics say to check your tire pressure once a month, and your antifreeze once a year at the start of the winter season. And you can check both yourself - you'll find tire pressure gauges and antifreeze gauges at most auto parts retailers.
Retailers also offer a product to add to your car's gas to make sure there's no water in your tank that could cause it to freeze. They recommend this as well to avoid any sluggishness during the winter months.
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