How to protect your car in the cold

From AAA

The single-digit temperatures forecasted for tonight may cause problems and delays for motorists heading to work on Thursday morning.  AAA often sees roadside assistance calls double for jump starts, frozen door locks and tire changes in the cold weather.  Keep these tips in mind tonight to save time and reduce stress tomorrow:

Before weather turns bad:

  • Check wipers, fill windshield wiper fluid and clean headlights and taillights to improve visibility at night and during inclement weather.
  • Inspect tire tread to avoid sliding and skidding.
  • Check the pressure in tires to prevent blow-outs.
  • Prevent doors from freezing shut by placing a very thin coat of petroleum jelly around rubber mold on the inside of the doors.
  • Keep fuel tank full to avoid running out of gas and getting stuck on the side of the road in bad weather.

On cold mornings:

  • Clean ice and snow off wipers, windshield and all windows.
  • Warming up vehicles sufficiently will help cars will run smoothly while out on the road.
  • If locks freeze on vehicles, place a warm towel over the lock to unfreeze it.
  • If car doors freeze, tap around the edge of the door to break up the ice and then pull at door handle and the bottom left edge of the door.

Be sure to carry emergency supplies, such as AAA car care kit, boots, shovel, blanket, snacks and water in vehicles.  Make sure cell phones are charged in case roadside assistance is needed.  AAA members can request roadside assistance by calling 1-800-AAA-HELP, going online to or through AAA Mobile, a downloadable application available for purchase on most cell phones.