Winter is coming

By Thomas Verschelde

Getting your car ready for winter is more than just filling your antifreeze, said Brian Durfey, part sales manager at AutoZone, 1530 Sycamore Road.

Durfey said the first thing that needs to be checked is the starting system. He said to check the battery, alternator and starter.

“Low temperatures can kill batteries and snow and ice getting on parts can stop the car from starting,” Durfey said. “You can’t do much of anything if your car doesn’t start.”

Christian Alvarez, junior ecology major and assistant manager at Advanced Auto Parts, 2201 Sycamore Road, said the most important things for winter safety are brakes and tires.

“Check your tire tread and tire pressure. Be sure to check for subtle leaks and irregularities,” said Joshua Leppard, counter salesman at Napa Auto Parts, 607 E. Lincoln Highway. “Make sure you have either a quality spare or a good alternate tire source.”

Alvarez said the next thing to be concerned with is visibility. He said to make sure wiper blades are new and your windshield washer fluid has deicer in it.

Durfey said oil levels need to be checked and if the car has old oil, it should be changed.

“On cold days the oil can turn to syrup which can prevent your car from starting,” Durfey said.

Leppard said it is also important to clean out the engine with an engine cleaner and to have someone do a multi-point inspection on your car.

“This can help prevent some of the more uncommon errors and warnings that could occur in these harsh conditions,” Leppard said.

Alvarez said the last thing that should be done to your car while preparing for winter is equipping it with an emergency kit.

“A safety kit is vital, especially for commuters,” Alvarez said. “It should be equipped with a hammer for breaking glass, a blanket, a first aid kit and perishable food items.”