Winterizing Vehicles for Bitter Cold - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Winterizing Vehicles for Bitter Cold

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 SALISBURY, Md.-  These bone-chilling temperatures are keeping auto mechanics very busy. Experts say the brutal cold can be harmful to batteries, tires and transmissions.

Inside Pohanka Toyota of Salisbury's warm and spacious service center, automotive experts had much work ahead during the afternoon.

Mechanics pulled cars in for service one-by-one , checking out batteries and other car parts that tend to suffer from dangerously cold temperatures.

Customer Alice Monar is not taking any risks. Monar had a close call once with a car battery that was on the brink of failure. Now, Monar does not waste any time getting everything checked out.

" I don't want to be stuck on the road somewhere broken down," Monar said.  "I want to make sure I get wherever I need to go safely."

James Martin, an auto expert at the dealer, said the center services nearly 50 vehicles a week. Car batteries were at the top of his checklist.

"The first thing I'm going to do is take a look at these terminals," said Martin, who examined thick corrosion beneath a terminal on a battery inside a vehicle being serviced.

Martin said corrosion can prevent your car from starting up. He recommends using a battery terminal protector spray to get rid of it.

Tire pressure is another concern.

"For every 10 degrees lost, you lose about a pound of air in your tire," he said. " When you go from summertime to wintertime, you can lose as much as 15 pounds of air."

Fluids were next on his list.

"Make sure you use a good windshield washer fluid that is a winter blend, " Martin said. "That's not going to freeze."

Martin also explained the importance of allowing your car to warm up before driving off. He said you can damage your engine over a period of time because cold, thick oil is difficult to pump.

Car batteries should be checked at least every three years.
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