Cars get fragile in frigid temps; technician recommends check up

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COLUMBIA - With temperatures plummeting, a car technician says it's time for drivers to check their tire pressure and condition, belts and hoses and levels of fluids such as anti-freeze.

Ty Ingram, head technician for Plaza Tire said, "You want to make sure, of course, belts are going good," he said. "In the cold weather, rubber would get really hard, freeze, start to crack."

Ingram said the anti-freeze and the battery are two of the most important things for people to check. 

"You can get too cold and the battery actually can freeze on the inside," he said. "If you have difficulty starting, you might want to have that battery checked out."

Ted Bogucki brought his daughter's car to the shop for regular maintenance Monday morning, ahead of the cold weather. 

"I try to have my cars ready before winter, get them inspected, get the anti-freeze checked," he said. "Make sure you have a full tank of gas before cold weather sets in, in case anything happens."

Bogucki doesn't have a garage, so he has to be creative to protect his engine from the cold wind. 

"I'd park my car so it's facing downwind, so it's not blowing right at front, to make sure the battery is not getting up the full brunt of the wind, as well as the radiator," he said. 

When it comes to tires, Ingram said, one with low pressure could cause the car to lose traction.

Each car has a sticker on the door of the passenger's side with the pressure recommended for the front and rear tires, and sometimes even for the spare. 

"Overall, you just don't want to have to get out on a real cold day to check the tire, the tire pressure, " Ingram said. 

Bogucki had some other recommendations for drivers to stay safe in the frigid weather. 

"Make sure you've got some extra clothes in the car, in case something happens, your car breaks down," he said. "And, quite honestly, have some snacks in the car, snacks, an emergency kit, a bottle of water, because it could be a five-mile trip that could end up into a half-hour, hour, two-hour journey."

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