As temperatures drop, don't forget to winterize your car

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Winter has arrived in Charlotte and surrounding areas, with temperatures in the teens this week.

The cold weather can take a toll on your vehicle if you don't keep up with maintenance.

Your tire pressure, car battery and anti-freeze are just a few things you'll want to check out.

This week many drivers in Charlotte are finding themselves at the tire pump.

"I'm losing air pressure in my tires," driver Kimberly Poindexter says. "I mean all the time!"

If you're ignoring the warning signs on your dashboard, you might end up at the auto repair shop with a problem that is expensive to fix.

About 50% of the vehicles in the garage at Mecklenburg Fleet & Automotive had problems on the road because of the cold weather.

"This time of year as soon as it gets cold, the batteries give up," Mecklenburg Fleet & Automotive Vice President Jeffrey S. York says.

That means now is the time to get your battery tested, and it's free at most shops.

He says the same rule can be applied to your antifreeze. If you don't replace it, it will wear out.

"Keep it at 0 below zero," York says. "It's not gonna get colder around here, but if you wait and it happens it's expensive."

When it comes to preparing for a drive in the cold, some reports argue you should not warm up the car in the driveway.

But York doesn't think it's ever a bad idea.

"Get everything moving, get everything lubricated," he says. "If you let the temperatures come up in the engine, transmission, coolant system, a little bit, it's gonna operate better."

He says it's important to take extra steps now, so you aren't paying up later.

"That's why they call it maintenance, not repair," he says.

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