Avoid the auto-shop, make sure your car is ready for the cold

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 11:00pm

As we get closer to the official start of winter, Louisiana is starting to feel the effects of Arctic air surging through the area. Although temperatures have not yet dipped to freezing levels, the impact of 30-degree weather could cause problems for your vehicle.

Below are some tips from auto mechanics that will help make sure your car is cold-weather ready.

  • Make sure your fluids are changed regularly. This includes: Oil, power steering, transmission, wiper fluid and more. How often each fluid should be changed depends on the car and the type of fluid. Starr said people can change their own fluids if they are comfortable doing so, but if not they should it into a shop. He also said most of these fluid changes can be done when you have your oil changed.
  • Check your tire pressure. Cold weather causes air to contract and likely means your tires will lose pressure.
  • Test your battery. Cold weather can amplify the aging of a battery and cause it to die more quickly. Battery testing can be done at a shop, or you can purchase a tester at your local auto shop for around $50.
  • Starr said to make sure you have a wiper fluid that will not freeze. Starr recommends using a fluid that has alcohol, because those with anti-freeze sometimes create a film on your wind shield.
  • It's recommended you let your car run for at least two or three minutes before driving. If you do so, make sure to open your garage door or move your car outside so deadly carbon monoxide does not build up inside.
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