Tips for car care during cold weather

Posted at 10:36 AM, Dec 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-14 17:45:42-05

NORFOLK, VA. - Freezing temperatures are now upon us.

AAA has put out a list of tips for people to follow to prepare for the harsh temperatures and protect your car.

  • Clean any corrosion from battery posts and cable connections and wash all surfaces with battery terminal cleaner or a solution of baking soda and water. Have the battery checked by a professional to ensure it is strong enough to face cold weather.
  • Have any engine drivability problems corrected at a good repair shop, like a AAA Car Care Center. Symptoms like hard starts, rough idling, stalling or diminished power could signal a problem that would be exacerbated by cold weather.
  • Replace worn windshield-wiper blades. You may want to purchase one-piece beam-type or rubber-clad “winter” blades to fight ice build-up. Use cold-weather windshield washer solvent and carry an ice-scraper.
  • Inspect all lights and replace burned out bulbs. Clean road grime or clouding from all lenses. Remember being visible to oncoming traffic – even in the daytime - is critical to safety.
  • Have a qualified auto technician check the exhaust system for leaks and look for any holes in the trunk and floorboards.
  • Examine tires for tread depth, uneven wearing and cupping. Remember, you need 1/32 of an inch (that is to the top of Lincoln’s head on a penny). Check tire pressures once a month when tires are cold, before driving for any distance.
  • Check all fluids to ensure they are at or above the minimum safe levels.
  • Now is the time to get your emergency kit equipped for winter weather. The kit should include: a bag of abrasive material or traction mats, snow shovel, flashlight with extra batteries, window washer solvent, ice scraper with brush, cloth or roll of paper towels, jumper cables, extra warm clothing, blankets, warning devices, drinking water, non-perishable snacks for both human and pet passengers, first-aid kit, basic toolkit, and a mobile phone and car charger.