Prepare your vehicle now for overnight sub-zero temperatures

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Your car doesn’t like the cold weather either and mechanics say if you don’t get it ready for sub-zero temperatures it can cost you.

“A little spent ahead of time will save you a lot in the long run,” said Chris Gastineau who owns Greene’s Automotive in Zionsville.

He says cars need be winterized to protect them from zero and sub-zero temperatures or you will start seeing big systems shut down.

“Heater problems, battery problems, starting and charging problems,” said Gastineau.  “This puts a very big strain on those parts of the car and if there’s going to be a failure this is when it will occur.”

He says batteries especially take a beating in these conditions.

“It’s very hard to start a car no matter what,” Gastineau said.  “As it gets colder it becomes a lot harder.  A battery that is three to five years old would be very suspect, needing to be changed.  It should be checked.”

He says you also need to check your anti-freeze.  If the mixture is not right it might not be able to handle sub-zero temperatures.

“You could have catastrophic damage done to the radiator, the engine block itself or the heater,” Gastineau said. “Because it expands when it freezes and it will break things.”

As it gets colder you’ll also see your tires start to lose air pressure and that can cause problems with braking performance.

“It makes the car respond funny and of course the anti-lock braking,”  Gastineau said.  “If you try to stop on ice and snow it could cause a problem if the tire pressure is not correct.”

He says wiper blades need to be checked along with the wiper fluid.

“You should always make sure that it says winter blend,” said Gastineau.   He said the summer blend will freeze in the plastic canister and it will freeze the fluid lines.

Plus, if your car stays out overnight in these conditions AAA Hoosier Motor Club suggest you shoot a little WD-40 into the locks so they don’t freeze over.  They also say it’s a good idea to have your gas tank half full so your gas lines don’t freeze.

Gastineau says it’s all about being prepared for the worst so you don’t end up stranded on the side of the road.

“The best offense is a  good defense,” Gastineau said.  “Have somebody check it.”


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