Preparing your car for winter weather - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Preparing your car for winter weather

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)--As frigid temperatures reach the area, some might be experiencing car troubles due to the conditions.

Brent Stockinger works at Joe's Auto and Tire and said there are many things people can and should do to prepare their car for winter.

"A vehicle needs maintenance just like a person does, you have to take care of it," said Stockinger.  "You don't necessarily have to give it "food" outside of gas, but you also want to make sure things such as the engine coolant are up to the Minnesota winter so that your vehicle doesn't freeze or your engine doesn't freeze."

Keeping things warm can be challenging in the cold, so Stockinger said the number one thing every car owner should do is take your car into professionals for a check-up.  He said refreshing the oil and checking the car battery is a must-especially if the vehicle has stalled.

Stockinger also recommended filling up on plenty of washer fluid and checking your windshield wipers.

"Make sure that there's no torn edges on them," said Stockinger.  "Make sure they're going to go and completely contact the windshield."

The cold can also threaten tire pressure and the grooves in your tires.

"With the cold winters, you want everything to stay flexible so that it grips the ice," said Stockinger.

These winter tires are made with unique rubber and can have as many as 5 times more grooves that allows the car to "bite" into snow and ice.  According to Stockinger, you should warm your car up for at least 10 minutes before driving it to keep the fluids running smoothly.  Lastly, he recommends never leaving your gas tank with less than a quarter tank.

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