Prepping your vehicle for freezing cold temps

Local mechanic offers quick advice on making sure your car is winter weather ready

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Nearly 113,000,000 people are expected to travel 50 miles or more for the holidays. With temperatures dropping nationwide, mechanics are reminding drivers to make sure their cars are prepared for winter driving.

Aaron Nelson owns Aaron’s Car Care and has been in the car repair business for decades. But there’s one thing he’ll say over and over again.

“Check the tires. I can’t preach that enough,” Nelson said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people come in here, they’re traveling, and they don’t even have a spare.”

To avoid needing to use that spare, Nelson suggests taking a lesson from Honest Abe. He showed News4JAX the simple method of using a penny to check your tire’s tread.

“If you can see the crown of Abe’s head, you’re going to need a new tire,” Nelson said.

It’s not just your tires. Nelson said you should also check your battery, your antifreeze, and your car’s hoses and belts. Also, don’t forget to make sure you have enough windshield washer fluids and good wipers.

“When you go to some of these wet areas that are especially slushy, you’ll be surprised how much you’re going to use them,” Nelson said. “Check those. They’re inexpensive to change.”

They usually work effectively for about one year, so be sure to invest in some new ones if you’re due. Bad wipers won’t help you see when you have ice on the windshield.

If you do get a flat tire, Nelson said you always want to make sure you know exactly where your jack is located in your car. He said he’s had numerous customers run into this issue many times over the years. Nelson also wants to remind people not only should you make sure your car has a spare tire, make sure it has plenty of air. If it goes unused for many years, it can be low.

Another thing to always keep in your car: jumper cables. You don’t want to be stranded in the cold if your battery dies.

About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013 and reports every weekday for The Morning Show.