Cold Weather Tips: Are your vehicles prepared?

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) Temperatures have been below zero for a while now, and they aren’t supposed to warm back up till next week. The cold presents many challenges for humans and their mechanical equipment. Jim Tewalt, the store Manager for American Tire and Auto says that the cold weather is hard on people’s vehicles.

Ice fog hangs over Fairbanks as cars drive through the cold weather (John Dougherty/KTVF)

“Everything just gets so cold, the oil gets so thick. The battery just doesn’t have enough energy to turn the engine over, and if it does happen to start when it’s 40 below, it’s very bad on the vehicle,” Tewalt said.

When temperatures drop that low and a vehicle is started, he said that oil pressure can take a while to build up and harm your engine. To combat these effects, Tewalt recommends getting your vehicle winterized.

“We obviously recommend that you get your vehicle winterized and try to get that done in the fall, don’t wait till you absolutely have to have it.”

Getting a vehicle winterized involves installing heaters on the oil pan, battery and other parts of the car to prewarm the vehicle before starting it.

Tewalt also said that preventative maintenance is important to make sure that your vehicle runs well in the cold.

Another tip he gave was covering up the radiator to make sure that the engine will run warmer. However, he said that when it is cold, people should always be prepared to have a vehicle break.

“Have your cold weather gear. They say to be prepared to walk a mile, and a mile doesn’t seem long... but at 40 below, it’s long.”

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