Preparing your vehicle for frigid temps, snow

Preparing your vehicle for frigid temps, snow

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - With temperatures falling well below the freezing point this week and snow on the way, it might be a good time to make sure your vehicle is ready for the cold.

As we get closer to the weekend, the temps will continue to drop. Friday’s low is currently forecasted at four degrees, according to the FOX19 NOW weather team.

When it comes to low temps like the Tri-State is expecting, AAA has some recommendations to help if you have to travel in the cold weather.

  • Keep a bundle of cold-weather gear in your car, such as extra food and water, warm clothing, a flashlight, a glass scraper, blankets, medications, and more.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated and have plenty of tread. The pressure in your tire can drop one to two PSI per 10 degrees of temperature decrease. That pressure increases when you drive due to friction and heat, but in the extreme cold, like we’re forecasting, it doesn’t always increase back to normal.
  • Keep at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle at all times.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface, such as on ice and snow.

Larry McIntosh with AAA says two of the most common calls they receive related to cold weather are for tires and batteries.

“If the car is sitting a lot, like a lot of people are not driving as much right now, that’s hard on the battery,” says McIntosh. “That’s hard on a little bit of everything because cars need to be driven, they need that to energize the battery and get the fluids circulating.”

Also, check for washer fluid and that your wipers are still good. That will help a lot with falling snow and the spray-up from other vehicles.

McIntosh says the bottom line is it’s always best to get ahead of the bad weather and prepare your car for the elements, rather than need to get in the shop for an emergency.

“Be proactive rather than waiting until your car don’t start or you’re stuck on the side of the road,” says McIntosh. “It’s better to have it checked ahead of time because we know that it’s gonna be cold and cars don’t like it any more than we do.”

And once the snow and salt are off the road, make sure you clean your car. Not only does it look good, but it will also extend the life of the vehicle.

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