Winterizing helps protect your car from brutal cold - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Winterizing helps protect your car from brutal cold

Even without ice or snow, the sheer arctic cold can do a number on your vehicle. (Source: WAFF) Even without ice or snow, the sheer arctic cold can do a number on your vehicle. (Source: WAFF)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

You need to protect your vehicle against extremely cold temperatures for a couple of reasons.

One: if your car conks out, you could be left stranded, and that could be very dangerous. 

Another reason: extremely cold temperatures can do the kind of damage to your vehicle that's going to take a lot of money out of your wallet.

We went to the Oil Change Express on Memorial Parkway past Max Luther in Huntsville to get some advice from mechanic and manager Danny Perillo. 

He said one of the first steps you can take is to check your antifreeze.

"First, make sure it's full," Perillo said. "Then you want to test it, and make sure it tests good and make sure it has a proper strength. You want to make sure it's good down to about 0°F. Your radiator could freeze. It could crack your block. You're not going to go anywhere if it freezes. It's going to freeze up and it's going to lock up your motor."

Next, examine the battery. The cold draws out energy from the battery, and if it doesn't have enough juice, that could be enough to leave you stuck.

"For strength, they should be at 12 to 14 amps," said Perillo.

Danny added you should make sure your wipers are tip-top, and you should add an ingredient to your washer fluid.

"If they don't have methanol in it, they will crack. It cracks the plastic, and then you don't have any washer fluid," he warned.

Cold air will cause your tires to lose air, so make sure they're properly inflated, and check the tread to ensure maximum traction on icy roads.

It's also a really good idea to get a jump box. If your battery dies when you're out there in the cold, you can use this to recharge your battery.

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