Winterize your car before the cold hits

Monday, November 12, 2012

The mercury is falling as they say and there is no better time than now for drivers to begin winterizing their cars for the upcoming cold and snow.

There is a strong chance of frigid temperatures coming for the 2012-2013 season, according to AccuWeather.com. Experts believe this winter might be similar to the cold bouts seen in the late 1970s. In these weather conditions, cars often take a beating and owners need to be prepared.

"Today's cars and trucks are overall more reliable than ever before," Dan Woods, host and producer of Speed's Chop Cut Rebuild series, told the Journal Sentinel. "Still, certain systems in all vehicles are more susceptible to cold, snow and ice. It's important to prepare those systems to handle colder weather."

Car owners should take precautions with the forecast. Preventative maintenance can not only preserve the resale value of a car, keeping it looking nice for when you use it, but it can also help avoid costly repairs down the road.

Car owners are encouraged to install Husky Liners® cargo floor mats. Snow and mud is more likely to be tracked into a vehicle during the winter months, but these floor mats protect a vehicle's carpet and interior. The mats are designed to keep any messes on the liners, not in the car's doorsill or onto the carpet.

Car owners are also encouraged to check their tires before the snow season starts and be sure to monitor tread depth and tire pressure every month thereafter. Cold weather can cause the rubber in tires to crack, increasing the risk of the tire popping.

Monitor your car battery's connection and water level. Cold weather can cause a battery to work harder than normal, draining it quicker. It is important make sure connections are working properly and no corrosion is building up, especially when heading out into the cold.

Similar to tires, a car's belts can also crack in the cold weather, increasing the risk of breaking down. Drivers should take extra precautions and have them inspected

Woods also reminds motorists to not only winterize their cars but also be wary of their driving behavior.

"Don't drive while distracted or impaired," he said. "Pay attention to the road, traffic conditions and your vehicle. Leave extra stopping room even if there is no visible snow or ice on the road."