Car Problems to Look Out for as Temperatures Drop, Snow Flies

Posted at: 11/12/2012 8:20 PM
Updated at: 11/12/2012 10:37 PM
By: Alan Hoglund

"People like their heat working. They like their cars starting in the morning, and when they don't it's not fun," said Gavin Aker, the Service Manager at Duluth's Allstar Service Center.

Blustery conditions, like drivers saw in Duluth Monday, only make it worse. As the city woke up to temperatures in the teens, Aker said the calls flooded in.

Aker told Eyewitness News his staff had fixed about 6 cars by early afternoon, all with problems caused by cold weather. He told us more than a dozen drivers called to get information on pricing for similar issues.

"Car batteries, alternators, anything that's rubber or electric is affected by it," he said.

Aker gave us a list of things to have checked:

Aker gave my car a once-over, and found some potential problems within seconds. Pointing at a crack in my serpentine belt, he said "the cold is going to make that crack worse. It's going to make it rip apart faster."

Aker looked at my tires, and said it's about time to get them replaced. "You're about at the end of your life," he said.

"If you don't have any tread on your tires, or the correct tires on your vehicle you're not going to go anywhere, and you're not going to be able to stop," he said.

But the problem likely on the minds of more drivers is a dead battery. Aker said "if they're not up to snuff, the cold temperatures start to freeze the battery acid; the fluid inside the battery."

That's a problem that leads to a car that won't start in the morning. "Everyone wants to be able to go out to their car in the morning and have it start. When it doesn't, they have a complaint."

Aker told us he hears them all the time, and expects more of them to come in as temperatures get even colder.

You'll likely be able to find out how ready your car is for cold weather from any auto shop. Allstar Service Center says they do it for about $35.