Preparing your car for the cold winter season

Published: Nov. 13, 2022 at 7:53 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Freezing temperatures are finally here in Alabama and before we get too deep into the winter season, your car needs to get checked. That cold weather can do some real damage to vehicles not properly maintained.

“We see tires going flat overnight in the driveway, we see batteries going dead because of the cold weather,” said Clay Ingram, public relations for AAA Alabama.

AAA Alabama gets a high volume of calls when cold weather hits, but Ingram says you can help prevent auto failures with a few steps. First, as soon as your low tire pressure light come on, he says they need to be checked and pumped with air.

“Our fluid levels need to be checked and adjusted, our wiper blades,” he added. “We need to get somebody to check our belts and hoses, make sure those are in good shape.”

Regular maintenance on your vehicle should be a priority when the winter arrives.

During cold temperatures, there tend to be two types of people: those who start the car early to warm to up and those who crank the car and start driving.

“A lot of the car manufacturers recommend that you do warm your car up just a little bit rather than driving it absolutely stone cold in the mornings to kind of get that oil heated up in your engine,” explained Ingram.

He adds it should only take a few minutes and warns you should never leave the car running in an enclosed area like a garage.

In case you do have a car failure while out on the road, having an emergency kit is a must. Ingram recommends packing a flashlight, some bottled water, packaged snacks that could last, and blankets. He also says it’s important to really personalize your emergency kit by asking yourself what you’d need if you were stranded, whether it’s a prescription, phone charger, or contact solution.

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