It’s called antifreeze for a reason, have it checked

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 9, 2010

Checking the fluids, espeically antifreeze and oil, inside the vehicle is a must-do this winter season. | Courtesy photo

When the weather gets cold, many tend to concentrate on getting themselves and their home prepared for blustery days and freezing temperatures.

However, people should also remember to take care of their automobiles, said John Wiggins, service adviser at Massey Automotive.

“First thing, right out of the gate, check your antifreeze level,” Wiggins said. “Antifreeze is rated to protect up to a certain degree, and just because your level inside the tank is good, you still want to have it tested to make sure the protection level is where you need it to be.”

Once that is done, Wiggins suggested checking everything from the battery to the tires.

“Tires are a big one,” he said. “Make sure there are no bald patches. You want good tread depth and make sure you keep up with your rotations and alignments.

“Check all other fluids – brake, transmission and oil,” he said. “Make sure your battery is good. You may notice that on really cold mornings, your car drags a bit when cranking. That’s your battery. It needs to be tested for cranking amps and voltage.”

Wiggins said by performing these simple tasks, it will go a long way in protecting themselves while on the roadways.

“All of these things play hand-in-hand,” he said. “You want to make sure your brakes are good. They can get moisture on them and freeze over. So don’t ride too close. Utilize good driving habits, and be aware of your surroundings.

“Think about it,” he said. “If you’re riding too close and your brakes lock up and you have bald tires, that’s an accident.”

Wiggins also suggested covering the vehicle’s windshield nightly with a towel or blanket to prevent it from icing over.

“Also, it’s a good practice to crank your car prior to leaving in the morning, so it can warm up,” he said. “That also will help to defrost the windows.”