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Valley experts provide tips to keep cars running during cold weather

Friday, December 06, 2013

Experts say winterizing your car should be a priority when temperatures drop. Frigid temperatures make for frost covered cars and icy windshields, but it is not just the car's exterior that is affected by the cold. Mechanics say it is important to pay attention to tires and what is under the hood this winter.

"Coolant concentration, tire pressure, battery charges and windshield washing fluid," automotive technician Fernando Madero said. "Vehicle handling and the fuel mileage is most important, your tires could be rated for a higher pressure but if you put it up to that then the handling changes, so it's best to go off door jam."

Madero said it is important to check car coolant levels. Aside from the general mechanics of the car, authorities say you also need to pay attention to the roadways as cold weather can lead to dangerous driving conditions.

Officer Kirk Arnold of the California Highway Patrol wants drivers to watch for black ice. It is invisible and before you know it, you are driving over it.

"It takes on the color of wherever its forming, so you want to make sure as you're approaching bridges and overpasses, slow down, don't apply your brakes and slow down gradually," Arnold said.

If you're headed to the mountains chains are required. Officer Arnold says to proceed with caution, especially after a storm.

"You definitely don't want to make sudden movements, don't hit your brakes hard again you want to have that space cushion it's so critical in snowy icy conditions," Arnold said.

Authorities also say to never leave a car unattended while it is warming up to prevent car theft.

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