Car safety hacks for cold temps

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DECATUR Ill. (WAND)- Cold weather and cars, something many of us don't loOK forward to dealing with. But, there are simple steps you can follow to keep your car running properly when we ourselves are having a hard time getting started.

"Do a quick walk, around the car,” says Jay Billingsley the owner of Billingsley service center. “You want to make sure all the lighting is working properly; the head lights are clean and free of obstructions and that they are functioning. Also, make sure the tail lights working.”

Checking the tires on your car is crucial to staying safe, when it's cold and when it's snowing.

"It's important to look all the way across the tire,” added Jay.  “Sometimes if you have got an alignment problem that is wearing the tires on the inside edges, they may look ok on the outside there may be a problem on the inside."

If you have a newer model car, experts say it should run fine during cold weather. However, that’s If you perform regular maintenance.

"Anything that is fuel injected is designed to operate and start and have no issue when it's zero degree or below weather, that is provided that it's been properly maintained,” says Jay.  “You need to have a good strong battery in there, and make sure everything is operating the way it's designed. If we allow the car to fall out of maintenance when you get down below 32 degrees that's when you’re going to see some problems.”

Car owners should also make sure their heating and defrost is working properly.

"Make sure the heating and defrost system is working,” added Jay. “Make sure we have hot air blowing on the windows so once the engine is running that will help to heat and thaw the windshield. It will help you see in winter conditions.”

Another thing to be aware of are your windshield wipers. If there is rubber hanging off them, or if they feel rough when you run your fingers down them it’s time for a new pair. Before you decide to warm your car up you might want to think twice. It's illegal to warm your car up. It's against the law to start your car and leave it unattended. An exception is if you have a remote starter. The law was designed to keep car theft down and avoid an accident if a child got into the vehicle and put it into gear.

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