Steps you can take to protect your car in a harsh winter - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Steps you can take to protect your car in a harsh winter

(Toledo News Now) -

The cold weather can cost you big bucks if your car breaks down due to the low temperatures, but Trent Harp at Smitty's Automotive says people can take few steps to try to make sure their vehicle survives the winter.

He says the first key is making sure their battery is in good shape. "Batteries, cold weather is really rough on the battery. If their battery is 4 years or older, I suggest they wither have it checked or replaced."

He says a sign the battery could fail is if there's corrosion build-up on the battery posts. "It requires more cold cranking amps to turn your engine over and as the temperature falls the battery has to work harder. If it's not up to standards then it'll fail."

He says another common reason cars come into the shop during the winter, people either don't have enough antifreeze in the radiator or the fluid hasn't been changed in a while. "The older it gets the less protection it has.

The older it gets it'll turn into acid and it'll cause deterioration of seals, water pumps." Even though newer vehicles have tire pressure monitors, he says it's always a good idea to check tire pressure. He also says a good winter practice is keeping plenty of fuel in the tank, and not exposing a vehicle to the potential for fuel line freeze-up.

"The more space you have in your tank the more room there is for condensation. Condensation is moisture, it gets cold you don't want moisture in your fuel, you keep it full it gives you less of a chance for that to happen."        

Read more about the cold snap here.

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