Want your car to survive the winter wrath? Do these 11 things

What everyone should know about protecting their car in frigid temperatures.

Statistically speaking, this is the coldest week of the year. Of course, there's still two more months of winter so the best place to be is inside a house or car where it's warm and toasty. But your car won't be loving the weather either, unless you treat it right.

Here are the things you need to know to keep your car in drive.

Start with the battery 

"If your battery is more than 3 to 4 years old have a mechanic check that out," says Ray Massenberg the AAA Michigan Automotive Coordinator. "The expectant life in this area is about 4 years so anything past three is on borrowed time." 

While you're under the hood, check the antifreeze. 

It helps prevent freezing in the cooling system and it actually lowers freezing point down to 60 below.

Another important fluid? Your oil. 

If you're not running synthetic oil, you should. Not do they help your motor fire up, it could save you some money.

"Synthetic oils save you money in your fuel but they also help car start easier when it's cold outside," Massenberg said.

Don't forget about tire pressure. 

The amount of air pressure in your tires is directly related to temperature outside so as temperature fall tires may loose air pressure.

Plan on warming your car up?  

You only need a minute to get that car ready to hit the road. You could do that for your own personal benefit but it doesn't help the engine itself. Longer than that and you're just wasting fuel.

It actually warms the car up quicker to drive it, Massenberg said.

Despite making sure everything is ready, you can still break down. If that happens, you want to make sure you have six things in your car: 

  • Phone charger, 
  • Extra battery
  • Blanket 
  • Non-perishable food
  • Windshield wipers
  • Kitty litter or sand. 

Sound odd? If this is your first Michigan winter, it may be. Otherwise, you know the drill. 

"Kitty litter or salt or sand you get stuck," Massenberg said. "And you sprinkle around wheel and it can help you get out."

And if you need help, just call AAA Michigan. With the colder weather, they're beefing up on staff.

"We're already on call," Massenberg said. "And waiting to help our members out."

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