Car Maintenance Reminders During Extreme Cold
For anyone who has to drive in the extreme temperatures, it’s important to remember that some extra maintenance and precautions could help save lives.
Most cars are not designed to operate in the extremes we’re seeing this week, so if you have to make a trip, make sure you have a full cold weather kit in your car. Tires also lose traction in extreme cold, so drive slower than you normally would. It’s also important to check all your fluids.
Alan Merschman, owner of Kenny’s Clark and Goodyear in Bemidji, says, “You need to make sure you keep your gas tank full. Make sure that your tires don’t leak because they’ll leak a lot worse in the cold. Keep them properly inflated. Oil is very critical to have the proper per weight oil and have it changed on a regular basis so your car will crank properly, and beyond that it’s just plain maintenance. If your manufacturer recommends spark plugs, if they recommend other services make sure you get them done, because those make a huge difference when we get into the extreme temperatures.”
If you do get stuck, remember that frostbite can happen in minutes. That’s why it’s best to stay in your car and call a professional to help you get out. Unless you absolutely have to be outside, the best thing to do is to avoid the roads if possible.
Merschman adds, “If you stay in a car in these extreme temperatures and you do not have the ability to bundle up, it is going to be a very, very, very bad thing for you, so people have to use common sense on where they travel. Just because you have a front wheel drive or an all-wheel drive, it does not mean that the roads can’t be dangerous, that the storm can’t be severe and that you really just don’t need to be on the roads.”
It’s also important to always check the road conditions before you head out.