KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Dead batteries, flat tires and leaking antifreeze, alongside several other cold weather car problems, are making for some very busy auto repair shops in Kansas City.
Mechanics at I-70 Auto Care Center are booked until next Wednesday with repairs because customers tell them they weren't prepared for the below freezing temperatures, and neither were their cars.
Mechanics there say they write repair bills for thousands of dollars for fixes that could've cost drivers less than $100 just a few weeks ago.
"We've had people come in and say ‘boy, I should have listened and repaired those tires or replaced that battery at that time because we've got a $100 tow now, and we could've have used that money for the repair or the maintenance,'" Joe Sevart, owner of I-70 Auto Care said.
Sevart added right now is the best time to knock out some simple tests on your car. Most auto service shops around Kansas City will run tests on batteries, tires, and antifreeze and fluid levels, among other things for free. Just ask for a complimentary winter inspection. It could save you hundreds of dollars by winter's end and keep you from being stranded on the side of the road, according to Sevart.
"Thursday and Friday being cold days, car batteries may not start this morning. Actually by 10 a.m. on Wednesday, we already had two cars towed in for no starts. One is a crank no start, the other you turn the key and nothing happens", Sevart explained.
There are also simple fixes you can do at home to save some money on maintenance, such as the two-minute drill: which includes cleaning your headlights, rubbing some car wax on them, buffing them, then repeating. That alone will cut down on ice buildup. Also, replacing your windshield wipers could be helpful in the winter months. Windshield wipers only have a lifespan of about a year.