Stay safe on roads this winter with proper planning and vehicle - FOX Carolina 21

Stay safe on roads this winter with proper planning and vehicle maintenance

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(File: FOX Carolina) (File: FOX Carolina)

The new year brings frigidly cold temperatures and nobody wants to find themselves stranded along the roadside in this weather. Experts say preparedness and vehicle maintenance are crucial.

If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to put together an emergency kit for your car. It should include items like blankets along with a shovel, windshield scraper, flashlight, water, snack food, first aid kit, necessary medications, jumper cables, emergency flares and road salt or cat litter for traction.

As for your vehicle maintenance, winter weather brings a lot of visibility challenges so make sure your wiper blades are in good shape. Freezing temperatures are especially hard on our car battery. AAA’s Automotive Research Center says your battery loses about 35% of its strength when the temperature is 32 degrees and even more when it’s colder than that. Most auto shops offer free battery testing.

Cold weather also reduces tire pressure so check that at least every month and make sure to keep all your fluids at the proper levels.

Auto mechanic, Steve Cilli, tells FOX Carolina, “If you want to keep an extra quart of oil in the car or an extra bit of coolant or windshield washer fluid, you’re going to be using that. Keep a little in the trunk that way you’re prepared. It’s preventative maintenance really, especially this time of year it’s so critical.”

Allow time to warm up your car on cold winter mornings so the oil can reach operating temperature. But keep in mind it is illegal in South Carolina to leave a car running unattended.

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