Cold temps mean check up on car battery, tires


After a zero degree night, when you give the engine a go, it may not have that same roar. And that means it's that time of year when you need to make sure the car battery and the tires are ready to roll.

Bundling up just to fill up with gas and as you pull into the car service shop it's also not uncommon to see mechanics replacing a car battery.

"The biggest thing this time of year is the battery," said Jay Billingsley owner of Billingsley BP in South Shores. "The battery is kind of like the heart and soul of the electrical system. It's one of the things that's most affected by the cold... The battery needs to be good and strong in order to spin the engine over well."

Billingsley BP Service Center just put in a new battery in a jeep.

"This time of year you usually see a lot more problems with batteries, of course but then also tires," he said.

And that's exactly what Gail Venters fixed because as temperatures drop, tire pressure can fall.

"We have one tire that keeps going down every time it gets cold so like every couple of weeks we have to stop, so I probably need new tires," Venters said with a laugh.

Venters' tire checked in at 23 PSI. It's supposed to be at 32 PSI, which can be a problem because worst case scenario: "They're just a little bit low, the tire can actually come dislodged from the wheel and then all of the air is going to escape and you're stranded," Billingsley explained.

So before driving off, make sure drivers and their car are equipped for the cold.

If a car owners decides to wash their car, Billingsley said to make sure a majority of the water is gone before going out into the cold temperatures. If not and temperatures drop below 10 to 15 degrees, people could freeze their doors shut or break their windows if they try to roll them down. But he said it is important to keep their car clean to prevent corrosion.

If cars are going to be left outside for a long period of time, starting the car every couple of days or once a week can help. And keep the gas tank about two thirds full to prevent the fuel line from freezing. If you do get stuck in the winter weather, keep emergency numbers nearby like a towing company.

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