Cold temperatures below 25 degrees can sap the cranking power of your car battery by as much as 35 percent, says the AAA Carolinas motor club, so this week is a good time to make sure you have a fully charged battery.
AAA offers cold-weather tips for drivers:
• Take the time to have your battery’s charge and cold cranking amps checked.
• Check your batteries connections for corrosion. When starting your car in the morning, turn on electricity first and wait 30 seconds for the battery to warm up before starting.
• Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid freezing gas lines.
• Thinner grades of oil are better for colder weather, opt for 5W-30 over 10W-30.
• Check tire pressure every one to two weeks as low temperatures can reduce tire pressure and will limit control on slick roads.
• Never use wiper blades to clear ice or frost as this damages the blades. Use a scraper or can de-icer. Make sure all windows are clear for best visibility.
• Never warm up your car in a closed garage, carbon monoxide poisoning is possible. It is also illegal to warm up your car parked on public streets in some counties, when the driver is not in the car.
• Keep an emergency kit in your car. Make sure it includes a mobile phone, car charger, blankets, flashlight with extra batteries, a first aid kit, drinking water, a small shovel, a sack of sand or cat litter for traction, windshield scraper, battery booster cables, emergency reflectors, and non-perishable snacks.