LOUISIVLLE, KY (WAVE) - Winter is upon us, and it's that time of year once again to get prepared for winter driving. As the cold weather sets in, there are several things you should do to get your vehicle ready for the road.
We talked with Roger Lewis, a mechanic at Downtown Ford and he had several suggestions to get prepared and most of them you can easily do yourself or have your mechanic do for you the next time your vehicle is in the shop for an oil change.
Tire pressure is essential in the Winter months. There's a myth that reducing the amount of air in your tires during snowy weather can actually help you get better traction. Lewis said this is definitely not the case.
"No, it's always best you follow the manufacturer's recommendations that's inside the door or somewhere located on the car or your owners manual. It's always best to have the proper air you know to keep it from bowing inside so to speak," said Lewis.
"If you deflate the tire or under inflate the tire, it's actually going to bow so the inside of the tire is not going to contact cause the actual tread to bow in so you're only going to ride on the outside and not have the full scale of the tire on the ground. It'll allow stuff to build up on the inside (of your tire) and you want to displace everything as you go down the road to make sure you can get traction."
Another important issue to check is your exhaust system. Leaks can be deadly if you are stranded and have your heater turned on. If there's an exhaust leak in your system that carbon monoxide can seep into your vehicle's cabin creating a very dangerous situation.
"When you're running your defrost section you're pulling in fresh air, so if you have an exhaust leak those fumes are going to travel up and that's what's going to come into the compartment so if you're stranded you really don't want to let your car idle with an exhaust leak cause those fumes are dangerous and hazardous and they will go right up inside the cabin of the car. Make sure to have your exhaust system checked next time you're in for service for an (oil change etc)."
You may also hear ticks when you start the engine when it's cold if there's leaks. And if you smell fumes, that's the real red flag to get right to the shop.
One item most of us will probably never think about can actually cause freezing inside your car! Lewis says to always make sure your defroster is turned off before shutting off your engine in the winter months.
"When you leave your vehicle in defrost then the outside air is allowed to enter the inside of the cabin."
And when it's really cold outside, once your start your vehicle, that moisture that's built up inside your car and actually begin to freeze causing major visibility problems for you when driving.
AAA offers several Winter driving tips. You can find them here at their website.
Be prepared for the upcoming winter and make sure your car is in tip top shape to keep you safe!