Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Cold Weather Means Car Problems for Many

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Cold Weather Means Car Problems for Many

Article excerpt

Seasonal car problems are beginning to crop up for drivers as cold and snowy weather finally hits West Virginia. With temperatures dipping into the single digits Monday morning and 3 to 5 inches of snow expected Friday, those in the automotive industry say its better late then never to make the necessary fixes to your vehicle.

Rob Newman, the manager at Glen's Towing in Charleston, said his company already has seen an increase in the number of calls the company receives from people who need their battery jump started. He said people should check the top of their battery for the service date, which shows when the battery was manufactured.

Newman said they always have calls for jump starts on very cold mornings, but he said Monday mornings are usually the busiest because, in some cases, people don't start their cars for two days over the weekends.

For people who charge their cellphones using the cigarette lighter port, Newman advises that the chargers be removed when the vehicle isn't running in order to save battery power.

Another common problem that people face is overused oil in their engines, Newman said. When drivers don't change their oil regularly it is thicker and has a more difficult time moving through the engine when it is cold.

"Change your oil when it is due, Newman said. "Dirty, sludgy oil is tougher to circulate through the engine.

But oil isn't the only vehicle fluid that can have problems in the winter.

The towing companies, Newman said, also receive calls about vehicle's engines overheating as a result of their radiators freezing up. He said it is important for people to check their anti- freeze levels, too.

Newman advises drivers to allow their vehicles to warm up for at least three to five minutes and to leave the engine running for another three to five minutes once they get to their destination.

Outside of that, he said people should listen to their vehicles.

"Any little lights that pop up, you should take that seriously, Newman said.

Bob Jarrett, store manager at NAPA Auto Parts on Virginia Street West, said he already has seen a spate of people coming into the parts store for new batteries and other winter supplies. …

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