Tire pressure and other things to know about your car after the cold – KHOU.com
Our vehicles will need some extra attention after the arctic blast. The American Automobile Association has tips on how to care for your car.
HOUSTON — From tire pressure to the battery, your car might need some extra TLC after the cold weather.
Josh Zuber is a Senior Public Affairs Specialist with AAA Texas and New Mexico.
“The thing that we say at AAA is make a good bet, B-E-T, that you’ll arrive safely,” he said.
B-E-T stands for battery, engine and tires. Those are three things that AAA says might need extra attention right now.
Let’s start with the battery.
“A car’s battery loses a third of its power in freezing weather,” said Zuber. “So as the air cools outside, the oil in your car thickens, parts move slower and your battery must use more power to turn over.”
He says make sure it’s fully charted, clean and the hardware is secure. Check the hoses and belts too and keep an eye out for any leaking fluids.
Next, odds are your tire pressure light is on. For every 10 degrees of temperature drop, tires drop 1-2 pounds of pressure. Zuber also suggests checking them monthly.
“You can do that at home by simply using a tire pressure gauge,” he said. “Check the PSI level for your car by finding the manufacturer’s recommendation on the driver’s side door jam or in the owner’s manual.”
Did your tire pressure light come on? I just checked my car #khou11 @AAATexas pic.twitter.com/W29d9BDv2k
— Tiffany Craig KHOU ??????? (@TiffanyKHOU) February 4, 2022
If there’s ice on the windshield, AAA says don’t splash with hot water. Instead, use a scraper or just crank up the vehicle.
“Start the engine outside, not in an enclosed space, and set the heater to defrost,” Zuber said. “Allow the airflow to be on the recirculate mode and then move the temperature to full heat.”
It’s also a good time to keep an emergency kit in your car. Here’s a checklist:
- Cell phone
- Roadside reflectors
- First aid kit
- Warm clothes
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