Winterizing Your Car

With winter weather storming in, all eyes are on the road. So what can you do to prepare your car? Check everything. The first stop is a mechanic.

“I recommend that you have a professional look at it. Even though you may be the worlds best garage mechanic, you should have someone that’s a professional check it out,” said Rick Brock, Chair of Naperville Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). “You’ve got to make sure the fluid levels are correct and that includes power steering, automatic transition, definitely your anti freeze and things like that.”

Also on the list of things to do: change the oil, rotate your tires, and make sure your windshield wiper fluid has an anti-freeze solution.

As for your gas tank, a low fuel level can leave you in the cold.

“It warms up then it gets cool again, perfect way to get condensation. And the reason it starts to freeze and not start is that the attachment for the gas line is at the bottom of the tank, water is heavier than oil so it gets sucked into the line and freezes in the gas line,” said Brock.

This can be a costly fix, so keeping your tank full can also keep your wallet full.

A possible life-saving tip is to keep your exhaust pipe clear of snow.

“The exhaust system can kill you, immediately, and you won’t even know it. If you do get sidetracked and stuck in the snow, make sure that you have it checked out, you need to go out periodically and shovel the snow away from the exhaust pipe to keep yourself safe,” said Brock.

This also includes when a car is just parked in your driveway. After a heavy snow, it’s important to clear a path for the exhaust pipe otherwise the carbon monoxide is forced back into your car while it’s warming up.

Finally, have a kit in your car for emergencies. This should include: a shovel, candles, flashlight, water, first aid kit, non-perishable foods, jumper and tote cables, and duct tape, which can be your best friend if a pipe cracks.

Once all of this is done, take your time on the road and be safe.

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