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Brace Yourselves and Your Cars — Winter is Coming

With the jet stream funneling bitter, Arctic air into much of the United States and drastically dropping the temperature, there is more that you should worry about other than keeping yourself warm.
image-1The upkeep of your car during winter months is very important, and if you plan on driving your car long-term and avoiding costly trips to the mechanic, there are a few things to play closer attention as it gets colder.
Castrol Premium Lube Express mechanic Harold Rose offered his advice on exactly what car owners need to be mindful of.
1. Check coolant levels
“First thing I’d tell them is to make sure their coolant is in good standing for the cold weather. The coolant makes sure that the engine doesn’t freeze,” said Rose. It’s well known that engines can overheat during the hot summer months, but the cold could also have a costly impact under the hood of your vehicle.
061128_winter_car_hmed4p.grid-6x22. Keep your tire pressure steady to avoid blowouts
This can be a little tricky according to Rose. The cold slows down the air molecules inside of tires, so the tire pressure monitor in your vehicle, if there is one, may be alerted, but you may not need to add more air. Rose said sometimes the monitor will go off once the air is moved around after the vehicle starts in motion, but if it doesn’t go off then you of course need air.
3. Make sure the battery has sufficient charge
“You can tell your battery is weak if you have a slow start,” said Rose, “The engine will wind and roll slowly then crank up.” Being stranded in the cold is never good, and if you don’t pay attention to how your car starts that is a possibility. Replacing standard car batteries is relatively inexpensive, so if you do notice your vehicle having a little trouble starting up it’s an easy fix. A lot of places will actually check the charge of your car battery for free.
Gabriel Austin is a student in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media and can be reached at graustin@go.olemiss.edu.

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