Overnight temperatures will be dipping into the mid-thirties and twenties the next few nights, and while most cars should be able to start, the chill in the air is a reminder to motorists to make sure their vehicles are ready when below freezing temperatures arrive for the winter, says AAA Northeast.
“Preventive maintenance is essential for safe driving and greatly decreases the chances of being stranded in the cold,” said Patti Artessa, AAA Northeast Regional Director of Public and Government Affairs.
Start with the battery and charging system. Have them tested if the vehicle’s battery is more than three years old. Your vehicle will need a fully charged battery to start up during a cold snap. Even a good battery can lose up to 50 percent of its capacity when the temperatures drop to zero. At 32 degrees it can take up to 35 percent more power to start a cold engine. If your vehicle started with a jump start you have only fixed the symptom but not the problem. A well-maintained vehicle should start in nearly any weather condition.
Don’t forget engine oil and coolant. The proper weight and grade of engine oil will help with cold weather starting. And as a general rule, engine coolant should protect an engine to minus 30 degrees to prevent engine damage.
This year AAA Northeast is offering a free fall maintenance inspection for AAA members and motorists. The AAA Car Care Clinic will be held (rain or shine) on Thursday, October 29, from 9am to 1pm at the AAA Utica’s new location, 430 Court Street, Utica NY.
AAA Battery Technicians and AAA Approved Auto Repair Facilities will be on hand to provide a multipoint “maintenance inspection” which includes an electrical system and battery test.