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When preparing for cold weather don't forget about your car

By Carlo Falco
Published On: Dec 03 2013 08:00:34 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 03 2013 08:01:21 PM CST
REDDING, Calif. -

The cold and car batteries are not friends.

The colder the temperatures the more stress is placed on your electrical system.  That includes your battery and alternator.

The real culprit is the constant warm-cold cycles which saps the battery's ability to hold a full charge.

A cold engine needs more energy to start than a warmer one, and repeated cold starts could drain your battery faster.

Your cooling system could also be in jeopardy in the colder weather, especially if you use water as coolant.

The water can freeze, breaking pipes, hoses and even the water pump if you’re unlucky.

But water also can cause your engine and radiator to rust from the inside out, so it’s important to get the right coolant in your car.

Finally, it might be a good idea to check your tires.  The cold weather makes the air in your tires compress, which could mean they’re under-inflated. 

If you’re uncomfortable doing all these checks yourself, most auto shops will do a comprehensive check to make sure your car is ready for winter.