Protecting your car in cold weather

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Overnight temperatures will continue to dip into the teens this week, and extra thought needs to be put into protecting your car. One danger is the freezing of engine coolant, which can be mitigated with the use of antifreeze.

“You just want to make sure that you’re going to, you know, whether it be an auto parts store or shop, that somebody has the knowledge to know the correct antifreeze to put in your vehicle. There are different types of antifreeze for different vehicles, so it’s important that you put the right antifreeze in,” says Randy Pace, service manager for Johnson Dodge in Meridian.

Colder temperatures may also affect your car’s battery.

“Cold weather has the tendency to zap the life out of batteries, or any batteries associated with anything, essentially. So it’s important to make sure you have those things checked,” Pace explains.

You should also closely monitor your the brakes during prolonged cold snaps.

"If your brake fluid is contaminated and is breaking down, it can cause red calipers to seize up on your vehicle, and in turn, cause your car to where it won’t move,” Pace said.

Most cars now have tire pressure monitors and it is especially important to pay attention to this when the weather gets cold.

“Nitrogen is a good thing now that a lot of folks will use. It helps keep the tire pressure more stable in these type of inclement weather conditions,” said Pace.

There are also things you can do on a daily basis to ease any car-related headaches.

“I recommend starting your car up in the morning, letting it run for a few minutes before you take off, just so you can see if there is anything that has arisen overnight from the car sitting, especially in these cold temperatures. See if any leaks may surface, any funny noises coming from the vehicle, anything that’d make you feel uncomfortable about getting in the car to drive,” explains Pace.