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Tips to keep your car running in frigid temps

Experts recommend getting battery, tires checked

Tips to keep your car running in...

'Tis the season for snow-covered cars, dead batteries and flat tires.

With frigid temperatures in the forecast, it's important to keep your car in mind. Experts say cold weather brings a variety of car-related issues along with it.

"We've had three, four cars towed in just this morning with bad batteries,”said Mike Boehm, service manager at Schaller Jacobson auto shop.

It's a busy time of year to be a car mechanic.

"With this cold weather it's really bringing out a lot of stuff, batteries, starters, a lot of tire-pressure monitors, people coming in who just need their tires checked,” Boehm said.

According to AAA, the top two reasons for calls in cold weather are flat tires and dead batteries.

"Make sure you have your battery tested prior to severe weather so you know it will start when you need it to,” said Gail Weinholzer, director of public affairs at AAA.

Boehm cautions drivers against jumping a battery, saying they can explode if they're frozen.

As far as tires go, Boehm recommends checking their pressure, because he says for every 10-degree temperature drop, tires can lose a pound of air pressure.

"If last time you drove car was 50, and its zero now, that tire can change as much as five to six pounds of air, so that can really affect it if it gets below zero, like it's supposed to this weekend,” he said.

In case something does go wrong out on the road, Weinholzer said you should call for help, not walk.

"Unfortunately, every winter we hear sad stories of people that left their vehicles that slid off a road, and rarely do those stories end well,” she said. “So, it’s always safest to stay with the car."

Boehm said if you don't need to be anywhere, it's best to just leave your car in park. But if you will be traveling...

"Drive carefully,” he said. “With the snow coming, we see a lot of people sliding into curbs. Everybody's in a hurry. Just be patient. Especially if you're broken down, too, just be patient, somebody will get there."

AAA recommends keeping a cellphone, extra warm clothing, food and water, sand or kitty litter for traction, and a shovel in your car at all times in case it does break down or you get stuck.

Weinholzer said that you should also keep a set of spare keys outside the vehicle in case lock yourself out while shoveling or brushing off snow.


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