The Advocate

How to take care of your car during the winter

Photo by Paige Ritson

Photo by Paige Ritson

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As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, they also get colder. This harsh, chilling weather can damage your vehicle and may leave you stranded on the side of the road. Taking precautions is always a smart idea whether it’s hot or cold.

According to AccuWeather, extreme cold weather pulls voltage from a battery and fluids like antifreeze, oil and transmission fluid can thicken, causing the car to run slower than normal. Cold air will also deflate your tires and weaken your spark plug. It is recommended to get your car into the shop before the cold weather hits in order to be prepared.

A few things to keep in your car include

  • a first aid kit
  • an ice scraper
  • booster cables
  • blankets
  • energy bars
  • a flashlight with extra batteries
  • flares or emergency signaling lighting

If you breakdown, it may take some time for someone to come along, so you’ll want to keep warm and your energy up. Before you leave anywhere, make sure to have a way of contacting someone. Have your phone fully charged and an emergency pager wouldn’t hurt.

There are some things you can do on your own instead of bringing it into the shop. Checking the oil and the tires, refilling the radiator and cleaning out the interior are ways you can help your car in the winter. Parking your car under cover and warming it up 5-10 minutes before you leave is also recommended. Better safe than sorry is always the way to go when Missouri’s cold weather hits.

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How to take care of your car during the winter