How to keep a car running in the cold

By Isabella Patta, Chattanooga, Tenn. —

Even though winters in Tennessee aren’t as cold and filled with snow as other parts of the country, students still need to make sure their cars are prepared for the winter season. Four main things are important to watch during the cold and rainy season.

Maintenance

CBR Auto Care owner, George Liner, has been a mechanic for 32 years and stated that the most important thing is to keep the maintenance up.

“This includes oil changes, rotating tires and checking brakes,” Liner said. “Since the newer oils are better, oil changes should be every 5,000 miles, but the newer cars even inform the driver when an oil service or maintenance are necessary.”

Maintenance is important all year around, stated Liner.

Tires

Next to regular maintenance, students should also take care of their tires, especially during the winter season.

Tim Robinson, sales advisor at Firestone Complete Auto Care, has been with the company for eight years.

“Checking tires is very important— the pressure and the tread,” Robinson said. “The pressure fluctuates more in the cold weather and the rubber gets harder.”

Marty Kroll, mechanic at Northshore Auto Repair, has been a mechanic for 30 years and knows when most tires fail.

“On days [where it rains and snows a lot], people wreck because they slide,” Kroll said.

Students should check their tires at least once a month to prevent worn out tires and to check the pressure.

Antifreeze

In addition to checking the tires, antifreeze is also important during the cold season. Dale Robertson has been a mechanic for 40 years and works for Quality Tire Pros on Chattanooga’s Northshore.

“The protection level of the engine cooling [antifreeze] is the most important during the winter,” Robertson said.

Antifreeze is needed so the engine won’t freeze because of the lower temperatures. The mixture between water and antifreeze needs to be correct, otherwise it won’t help, stated Liner.

Wiper blades

Other important car parts that need more care during the winter are wiper blades.

Robinson stated that because Tennessee experiences more rain during the winter months, wiper blades are used more and need to be replaced more often.

Headlights

As days are shorter, drivers use their headlights more.

“Check all [your] lights, because you need them to work,” Kroll said.

Alina Hunter-Grah

Alina Hunter-Grah

News Editor

Alina is a junior Communications major with a minor in Political Science from Clarksville, Tenn. Alina is also the official Chattanooga Correspondent for 2nd & Church, a literary magazine based out of Nashville, Tenn. Alina dreams of being an investigative journalist or political reporter.

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