“We're seeing improperly inflated tires pretty consistently right now,” said Kenneth Young, manager of Bratz Tires in Palestine, said. “Especially as the temperature starts to fluctuate. For every 10 degrees the temperature drops, you can lose up to a pound and a half of air pressure per tire. The pressure in your tires affects everything from how your car handles to how it performs, how it stops — running the proper tire pressure is very important, especially as weather conditions get worse. If your vehicle is equipped with a tire pressure light, and it comes on, don't ignore it. If you're losing air pressure frequently, though, or there's a vast discrepancy in pressure lost, there may be another problem. Get it checked.”
• Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in winter. Have your technician check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time.
• Have the brakes checked. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item.
• Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed. Idling or 'warming up' a car in a garage, even with the door open, is dangerous and exposes the driver to carbon monoxide and other noxious gases. If the garage is attached, those fumes can also enter the house.
• Check to see that exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly aimed.
“Drivers should also make sure to check the tire pressure of the spare in the trunk and stock an emergency kit with an ice scraper and snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, flares, blanket, extra clothes, candles/matches, bottled water, dry food snacks and needed medication,” the site states.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.