Avoid expensive mechanic bills by getting your car ready for cold temperatures, local experts say

As cold weather rolls through our area, experts say it can leave drivers with an expensive bill at the mechanic if their car isn’t properly prepared for the cold.

Being mindful of your tire pressure is important as cold air can cause it to drop. Most cars will alert drivers if it’s low. You can see how much air your tires need by looking at the side of the driver’s door.

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A flat tire is the last thing you want when temperatures dip below 40 degrees. It happened to one of Malissa Pitman’s customers at Truth Auto Repair who is also dealing with other mechanical issues.

“This [car] was actually brought in today because of issues of a no start, as well as not being able to have the proper inflation. It had the tire pressure monitor system light on,” Pitman said.

If your car isn’t starting, you could have a dead battery. The American Automobile Association said 32-degree weather is enough for a car battery to lose 35% of its strength.

Pitman recommends opening your hood and checking your battery for acid or any leaks. She said your battery is at risk of dying if you can see acid and it shouldn’t be leaking at all.

A low battery isn’t the only thing to be concerned about.

“In this weather, we got to remember we have rodents out here especially in the beaches. They love heat, and they like to stay warm,” Pitman said.

She said they love to live inside anywhere that has tight spaces and they’ll chew on wires and other cords that can’t be seen.

She added that it can be an expensive issue that could cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Experts recommend these tips to prevent rodents from getting inside the vehicle: place traps around the vehicle, use deterrents to repel them, and block entrances to your vehicle.

Pitman said you can visit your local mechanic for an overall car inspection.

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