POSTED: Wednesday, January 6, 2010 - 10:47pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - 12:42pm
Don't let your car become a Coldsmobile...
Living in Texas, we tend to forget that very occasionally, winter can be as tough on our vehicles as summer.
So, we went to an expert to find out how to get ready..
On the southwest part of town is the West Campus of Tyler Junior College.
That's where David Briscoe teaches future automotive techs how to keep our buggies running.
“Make sure that belts and hoses are all in good shape,” David told us. “You want to be sure to squeeze them and make sure they’re not spongy or soft.”
David spent many years as one of the top dealership mechanics in the city, and now he teaches attjc.
And he says, with our deep freeze underway, there are some things you need to consider if you want your particular buggy to start Thursday.
He says that the primary concerns are proper tire pressure,
“Generally in cold weather your aluminum rims lose more air than tires with steel rims,” David says. “There’s a door sticker on the driver’s side door that tells your tire pressures. Firmly place the gauge in, read the tire pressure and then bring it up to its proper pressure.”
And it’s important to maintaining the water levels in the battery,
“You take the hydrometer,” he demonstrated, “stick it in each cell, and check them. It should make all four of the little balls float.”
And the all-important issue of anti freeze.
With a simple device you can buy at any autoparts store, you can make sure that you not only have a full radiator, but it has enough anti freeze to survive a frigid night.
"Now, this vehicle here doesn't get run much,” said Briscoe. “You can tell, the balls all floated and then they sank. Which means that there's no coolant in here, or at least a limited amount."
David says that the same holds true for the battery.
And he reminds us that using tap water instead of distilled will shorten battery life.
Usually, just when you need it most.