It’s time now to prepare your vehicle for cold weather

Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 4:08 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - You may have noticed the pressure in your tires is changing with the colder weather. Car mechanics say now is the time to prepare your car for winter.

In addition to the usual maintenance on vehicles, plus more people driving to the office and not working at home, the holidays are just weeks away.

AAA District Director Troy Cox says getting your car ready for winter is like training for a marathon. It’s a process that takes time and preparation.

“You’re not just going to start tomorrow and go run the Flying Pig [marathon],” Cox explained. “What you’re going to do is you’re going to prepare for it. So you’re going to start with small runs, you’re gonna stretch those kinds of things to prepare for the marathon. Your car is the same way so we’re going into winter and your car may not be prepared for winter. So the first thing you need to do is have your car inspected.”

AAA offers a 56 point safety inspection for free. Cox says using the acronym BET will help you remember the three most important things to check this time of year.

“You want to ‘BET to win.’ So check your battery,” Cox explained. “Your engine compartment, that’s the E portion. Your belts, your hoses, your fluids. Wiper blades of course. And then your tires.”

In the event of a major winter storm, it can take AAA hours to get to you if you’re stranded in the snow and ice.

“For those of us that have children, they’re in the car with us, the one thing I don’t want is for myself, my wife and my three young kids to be in the car on the side of the road because I have a flat tire,” Cox said. “So you want to make sure that you look ahead of what your needs are going to be.”

Just in case you do get stuck on the side of the road this winter, make sure you’re prepared. Have an emergency kit with you including a blanket, cell phone charger, snacks and water to sustain you until help can arrive.

It can actually be bad for your car if you haven’t used it in a while due to the pandemic. You want to make sure it gets driven on a regular basis to get fluids moving through the engine and keep the battery charged.

Salt and snow will soon be on the roads and that can damage your car. Washing your car from top to bottom is important all year round.

The supply chain shortages have hit car mechanics too. Not only are the big things harder to get like batteries and tires, even the oil used in your car isn’t always in stock. That’s all the more reason to get your car into the shop sooner rather than later.

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