Winterizing Your Car: Advice from Local Experts to Keep You Going All Winter Long

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CULLMAN – It’s that time of year again, time to drag out the coats and sweaters and hunker down in a nice warm place. Hot chocolate sales are through the roof and children are wearing all sorts of toboggans, gloves and scarves. Most of us know how to take care of ourselves in the cold weather, but how many know how to take care of their automobiles and keep them running as the temperature continues to drop?

“When the colder weather arrives, you want to check your antifreeze,” said Mary White, Advance Auto Parts employee. “Most vehicles want you to have at least a 50/50 blend between antifreeze and water, maximum being 70/30 percent. There are antifreeze detectors in different styles that will show you what protection you want to go to as far as that goes. Also, we sell the washer fluid that has a deicer in it. You can use it year-round. It has the bug remover, but that will go through the line to where you can spray it on your windshield and not have to worry about it freezing up.”

White also recommends keeping the air pressure checked in your tires. Have an ice scraper or a little spray can of deicer for your windows. Carry a can of fix-a-flat, a little bag of oil dry or something like it for traction if you were to get stuck on a slick road. In case your car breaks down in the cold, always carry a blanket in the trunk and an emergency roadside kit with flares and a flashlight – especially with it getting dark at 5 p.m. now.

“You always want to check your freeze point on your antifreeze,” explained Terry Guthrie of Guthrie’s Auto Service. “You want to look at your manufacturer’s service schedule and make sure you don’t leave out any services. You might want to change your oil. I would also recommend having your fuel injection system cleaned and using quality tier one gasoline. Also, do not ignore the “check engine light” – It’s trying to tell you something.”

As with anything, you must take care of your car or truck in order for it to do its job and perform as it should. By doing these simple things you can feel confident that you’ll go far in the coldest of conditions.

Please feel free to visit Terry at Guthrie’s Auto Service with any of your vehicle needs. They are located at 144 County Road 1435, Cullman, AL 35058. Call them at 256-739-1690 or visit their website at www.GuthriesAutoService.net.

For those do-it-yourself folks out there, Advance Auto Parts has everything you’ll need to get your car ready for the cold. Feel free to stop by and say hi to Mary and the rest of the gang at the Cullman location. They are located at 1642 2nd Ave SW Cullman, AL 35055. You can call them at (256) 737-5449.