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Sudden drop in temps spell trouble for cars

Posted at 12:33 PM, Nov 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-09 13:33:53-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Your vehicle needs a little extra care when those temperatures drop. 

41 Action News spoke with the co-owner of Christian Brothers Automotive in Shawnee, Kansas for tips for car owners. 

The No. 1 problem they see in the winter is with car batteries.

"If it is older or has corrosion around the battery cables, we see a lot of cars that need new batteries," said Tammie Green. "Sometimes it is the whole starting system including the alternator and the starter. If we have a good battery, the alternator and the starter need to be tested to make sure they are all working together."

Green also suggests having your coolant/antifreeze checked. This is what your car uses to cool the system to keep in operating at the optimum temperature. Automotive shops can check to see what its freezing point is using a hydrometer. If there's too much water in it, the coolant could freeze and cause a big mess during the winter. 

Make sure to check you tires frequently. Cold temperatures can cause tires to lose pressure. Check them weekly to make sure they are inflated correctly. Under inflated tires can cause them to wear down prematurely and lose traction. 

Also make sure there is enough tread on the tire. You can do this by putting a penny head down into your tire tread. As long as some of Lincoln's head is covered, the tire still has some life left. If you see all of his head, you need more tread. 

Another problem automotive shows see is windshield wipers not working properly. 

"There is a little trick that you can use where you can take a wet paper towel and wipe the rubber of the wiper blade. If that gets all the grease and grime off and you can see clearly when the wiper blades are going, then you are good to go. If that doesn't work then you need new wiper blades."