The snow falls, the ice refuses to go away, and yet we still need to live, move and breathe. Often that includes cars, and since we’ve chosen to bunker down in Northwest Iowa for the winter, it undoubtedly includes winter car care.
For Scott Mulder, the owner of Sinclair Highway Service, knowing winter car care comes with his title. With students facing less-than-ideal winter weather and their cars stuck out in cold parking lots a majority of the time, Mulder said some simple preparations can make winter driving much simpler and safer.
Senior Nick Crippin said that an overall precaution is simply to take your car into an auto body shop to get it “winterized.” By doing so, the oil will be changed and antifreeze and wiper fluid can be refilled and checked to ensure they will not freeze if temperatures reach 20 or 30 degrees below zero. Mulder said this is especially important for students coming from warmer climates because fluids in cars from warmer climates are less likely to be workable year-round.
Preparation can lead to prevention on the way home, across town or anywhere winter driving may take you.
Tips from the pros for winterizing your car:
1. Keep the gas tank full to prevent frost from seeping in and causing freezing problems.
2. Be sure the tires have adequate tread depth and are properly inflated.
3. Let the car idle before driving to avoid engine problems caused by a cold-start drive.
4. Carry a safety kit of flares, jumper cables and a replacement set of windshield wipers.