Auto expert warns about leaving cars buried under snow

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - If you've driven around Kansas City in the past week, you may have noticed cars around town that are buried deep in snow drifts.

Every time a plow truck whizzes by, the cars become wedged more and more into the snow.

Cars along Ward Parkway are completely buried. In fact, in some cases, it's difficult to even make out the shape of a vehicle in the snow pile.

One car owner, whose car is buried on the northbound lanes of Ward Parkway, said he is simply waiting for the car to thaw off, since he can walk to school at UMKC and his job on the Country Club Plaza.

Yet, Alan Heriford, of Johnson County Automotive, warns abandoning your car could cost you in the long run.

He said while the snow itself isn't a big hazard, the chemicals plows use can cause corrosion in cars, especially to aluminum parts, brake pads and rotors, can deteriorate. Batteries may also lose their charge.

Heriford said another problem is snow buildup on tires, which will vibrate the wheels and throw the tires out of balance. Once snow gets stuck in the tires, it can take a long time to melt in sub-30 degree temperatures.

And Heriford warns snow can pack into the car's engine, which may be enough to cause a belt to jump off.

"It's one thing with the snow. If it was just the snow I wouldn't be real concerned about it. However, when these cars are just getting packed with snow up underneath, then the chemicals from the plows are added to the mix and that will really do some damage," Heriford explained. "My advice is a little effort will pay back well in the wallet. If you leave something for that long, eventually it's going to cost you."

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