Local mechanic gives DIY car advice for winter months

By Hailey Kurth

Sam Bond, Service Director at Bockman’s Auto Care, 2158 Oakland Drive in Sycamore.


If your car engine turns over but does not start, Bond said to check your battery. He said you should have your battery checked at the beginning of the season.

“It’s one of those things where a battery could seem like its okay one day, then we get a real cold night, you’ll go out the next morning, and bam: It’s no good,” Bond said.

Don’t let your gas tank get low.

“If you run your vehicle low on gas you allow an opportunity for extra moisture to develop in your tank,” Bond said. “By keeping it full, you can keep that from happening.”

Bond said to start your car five to 10 minutes ahead of time. Let your car get into its regular idle position.

Have an emergency kit with blankets, hats, gloves, a flashlight, road flares and granola bars. Make sure your cell phone is charged before you leave.

Windshield wipers: Clean ice off the windshield before turning wipers on. Defrosting first will help. Clean ice off around wipers, then bang lightly against windshield.

The change in temperatures can mess with tire pressure. “It’s not a bad idea to stop in midway through the season to get a safety inspection to make sure the tires are up to snuff,” Bond said.


Don’t turn on four-wheel drive if the roads are clear.

Make sure the tires are properly inflated and in good shape.

Chains may give extra grip, but Bond said they are illegal in this part of the country.

“A vehicle that has a light rear-end can tend to swing around when you turn,” Bond said. “By adding a little extra weight in the back, it gives you more stability when turning.”

Bond suggested placing sandbags in the back of your car. He said they can be found in many stores.

If you spin out and lose control, don’t slam on your breaks. Bond said to pump your breaks and turn the opposite way that you’re spinning. He said not to panic.

“The most important thing to do in the winter is to slow down,” Bond said.