How to keep your car running during the arctic blast

SPOKANE, Wash. — The extended cold snap is putting more pressure on car batteries and landing more cars at the auto shop.

Cars can handle cold weather like this for a few days, but it’s the longer periods of time that cause issues for drivers.

Mechanics at Wilde Auto say they’re seeing more cars come in with issues because batteries can’t withstand these temperatures. Jay Lake has been a mechanic for 10 years. A good investment he recommends is a battery tender juicer. You can plug your car in overnight to make sure it’s juiced up for the morning.

“It just keeps it fully charged,” Lake said.

Some models cost around $30. If your battery is five years or older, you may want to bring it in for a check.

“The weather, like I said, just tears them up,” Lake added. “They really don’t like the extreme temperatures.”

Sloan Bowers brought his car in on Tuesday for a winter tune-up before he takes a long winter journey.

“I’m going to spend nine days in the car driving. I want wipers to work. I want this to work,” Bowers added. “I don’t want to hear this.”

Lake, who’s been a mechanic for 10 years, has some tips to avoid the winter stress.

  1. Keep your fuel tank over half to avoid the extra moisture from freezing up.
  2. Come in for a coolant flush if you’re worried about the levels.
  3. Plan for a car wash after this arctic blast is over.

The winter gunk sits on your car and can cause them faster to rust if you leave it there for too long. You should plan to wash your car next week when the temperatures warm up.

To keep doors from freezing shut, a simple DIY trick is to spray the weather stripping with silicone which will help you open your doors in the morning.

“The silicone stops moisture from getting in there, so your doors will open perfectly fine every time,” Lake said.

On top of these winter tips, plan to schedule regular seasonal maintenance to keep your car safe in the future. You can see what Wilde Auto offers for your car HERE.

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