Overnight temperatures will dip into the mid-teens over the next three nights, and while most vehicles should be able to start, this cold snap is a reminder to motorists to make sure their vehicles are ready temps drop below freezing, says AAA Northeast.
“Preventive maintenance is essential for safe driving and greatly decreases the chances of being stranded in the cold,” said Fran Mayko, AAA Northeast spokeswoman. “Properly preparing your vehicle is essential to save time, money and aggravation when the mercury dips.”
Start with the battery. Have your battery and charging system tested if the battery is more than three years old. Even a good battery can lose up to 50% of its capacity when temperatures drop to zero. At 32 degrees, it can take up to 30% more power to start a cold engine. Jumpstarts will only treat symptoms, not cranking problems.
Don’t forget your engine oil and coolant. Every car engine depends upon oil for lubrication. The proper oil weight and grade also helps with cold weather starts. Engine coolant should protect an engine to -30 degrees: Test your antifreeze with an inexpensive tester from any auto parts store. Check hoses for leaks, cracks or loose clamps. Hoses that feel brittle or spongy when squeezed should be replaced.