Car Care For Snow, Freezing Cold Temperatures

Preventative Tips, What To Keep In The Car

According to AAA, a record number of people are expected to travel for the holidays, including nearly 280,000 South Dakotans. The mast majority will likely be traveling by car, truck or RV. But before the arctic air moves in this weekend, we’ve got some tips on how to stay safe while on the road.

TMA Car Care in Sioux Falls says lately it seems most people are waiting to get their cars in until after something goes wrong. That’s what you don’t want to do if you’re traveling the roads in this weather.

TMA Manager Ryan Mickey said, “Every time we get a heavy snow, we get a lot of cars that come in that have problems during the snow.”

Mickey says many vehicles show signs of potential problems way before people bring them in. Sometimes it takes a snow storm or freezing cold temperatures to get them to take the next step.

Mickey said, “If a car is properly maintained, yes, it can run and operate properly in those type of temperatures.”

winter-car-careMickey says you should get the battery checked at least twice a year; before winter and again in the summer. Coolant should also be checked regularly. He says it generates the heat that comes out of the vents and it keeps the engine cool.

“An engine will overheat in the winter time, even with the extreme temperatures if you’re out of coolant,” said Mickey.

Mickey says many people depend on the tires to tell them how much air you should have in them, but that’s the maximum amount suggested. The ideal amount is posted on the inside the car on the driver’s side door.

“Sometimes with a low tire pressure what it’ll actually do is cause the center of the tire to lift up a little bit and the center of the tire will not touch the roadway,” Mickey said.

winter-car-care-2We also need to worry about the tread. TMA recommends nothing below 4/32nds of an inch.

Mickey said, “The deeper that is, of course, the better traction you’re going to get because that tread is going to continually clean itself.’

All can help you get to grandma’s safely.

Say you’re making a longer trip. TMA says you should have tools to change a tire, of course, jumper cables if your battery dies. In the back, heavy clothes and blankets for heat, even candles are a good idea.
Shovels, flashlights are those obvious things, but a flare or even something to put on your antenna in case you get stranded could mean getting help faster. What’s most important though is you stay with your car if something does happen.


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