Winterizing Your Car This Season Saves Time and Money - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/27/03

Winterizing Your Car This Season Saves Time and Money

Even though the South Plains hasn't been hit by harsh winter weather, there are still some steps you need to take to ensure that your car will operate properly in the winter temperatures. We spoke to an expert with advice on how to maintain your vehicle this season.

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When it comes to preparing your car for the winter, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent serious and costly damage. "There's a difference between summer and winter driving so you need to get everything checked," advises Mark Jenkins, a mechanic at Scott's Complete Car Care.

He says that it's important to allow your car's engine to warm up before driving. "Your engine, when it starts off cold, the oil is real thick so you need to get it to operating temperature so it will flow through properly, cause when it's cold it doesn't flow through properly as it normally does," explains Mark.

Also affected by cold weather is the coolant in the radiator. In winter, this fluid may freeze without the right amount of antifreeze. "If it freezes you can crack your engine block or your hoses are going to freeze," he said.

Checking your battery, belts and hoses can also prevent damage. He says that when hoses become soft, it means that they're not going to last very long and there is a chance of one bursting.

Mark says that it's time to replace wiper blades when they're cracked and torn. "If you get stranded in snow and ice and you can't wipe your windshield then it's dangerous, you can't see," he explained.

Worn out tires can be fatal in icy weather. "You need to look for cracks around here like those, that's where you get separation where your tread actually separates from your tire and that separation can cause a blow out," said Mark.

But if your car begins to run significantly different during these cold winter months, don't wait too long to take it in and let the experts handle it. Mark adds that it's cheaper to get your car checked out now than it is to repair winter damage later on.

Other Tips on how to keep your car safe in the winter:

  • Check your radiator for corrosion and have it flushed
  • Anti-freeze should be changed every two years or every 30,000 miles
  • Check for leaks
  • Check Thermostat
  • Check Cooling System
  • Get Your Oil Changed
  • Check Serpentine Belt for Cracks
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