Is your car ready for the winter storm? - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Is your car ready for the winter storm?

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Some vehicle maintenance issues don't make themselves known until the temperature goes down and the snow starts falling. 

Fortunately, we don't have to worry about these problems for most of the year, but Tuesday appears to be one of those exceptions. Harold White of White's Automotive on Wynnton Rd. has advice to help you keep your car out of his shop. 

"Down here in the south, we rarely ever see freezing temperatures, and when they do come on, it usually catches people by surprise. The number one thing we forget about is antifreeze," said White. 

Failing to keep your fluid levels up can cause your radiator to split open. White says he had four separate customers come in with that very problem during our last big freeze.  

"The second thing you want to do is make sure if you walk out there and you have a nice thick blanket of snow on your windshield, don't use your wipers immediately. Your wipers can be frozen in position, and the first time you turn them on, it will just break and destroy them.   So you might want to try and defrost the window first, and wipe the snow and the ice off, so your wipers have somewhere to move when you turn them on." 

You'll also want to avoid driving if your tires don't have enough tread.  

"Make sure you keep up with tire pressure, and of course, your battery. You don't want a weak battery out there when you try and start it in the freezing cold because it just won't do it." 

Experts said batteries age the quickest in climates with mostly warm temperatures, like ours, and we're most likely to see the product of that aging on the few days when it does get cold.

In a worst case scenario, you may find yourself stranded in bad weather due to an unavoidable circumstance. That's why you should make sure you are dressed to be outside in cold weather even if you wouldn't ordinarily be leaving the warmth of your car.  

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