Don’t like the cold? Neither does your car

EAST HAVEN, Conn (WTNH) – Winter is coming, and with temperatures heading down to the teens, it’s time to make sure your car can handle the cold.

David Amatruda of Torello Tire in East Haven popped the hood and checked the battery on a Ford SUV. When the hand-held machine was done with its scan, it read: “Near end of life,” according to Amatruda. “It came out to 497 cold cranking amps. Battery tests should rate to at least 650, this battery specifically.”

There is a good chance that Ford might not have even started in frigid temperatures. Amatruda also wants you to know your antifreeze has an expiration date.

“Ph level rises as your antifreeze gets older, and the acid level builds and it starts eating from the inside out,” he explained.

Speaking of fluids, the beginning of winter is an important time to check your wiper fluid.

“Just make sure you put in the kind that doesn’t freeze, because you can put in just regular washer fluid, just blue dyed water, and it will freeze in there and wreak havoc,” said Amatruda.

Speaking of keeping the windshield clear, there are special wipers for the snow as well. Even with a clear windshield, you might still have trouble seeing if your headlights get cloudy. There is a treatment to clear them right up.

That magnesium chloride they put on the highways these days has a nasty way of corroding car and truck parts especially brake lines, so keep an eye on them. Of course, Torello tire is a tire shop, but David is not taking sides on the snow tire debate

“Snow tires are great. All season tires are great too,” he said. “They’ve come a long way, so it’s preference, pretty much.”

Whatever tires you have, check the pressure, because it changes with temperature.

“You lose a pound of PSI for every 10 degrees the temperature drops,” said Amatruda. “So if your tires are low now, they’re going to be lower once it gets colder.”

So think about that. If your tires are supposed to be at 30 and they’re at 28 right now. If it drops 30 degrees, they’ll be at 25, and that light on your dashboard is going to come on.


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