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You can help your car perform safely in this winter weather

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) — We spent some time with mechanics to find out what you should check on your car before the next round of nasty weather hits.
“Safety is our big concern going into the winter. We want people to be safe,” Jim Mickelini says.
He’s the service manager at Preferred Automotive, which has seen its share of cars with mechanical issues, especially in weather like this.
To help you stay safe, he says you should make sure your washer fluid is rated for negative temperatures so that it doesn’t freeze in the washer tank.
“So many people won’t defrost their windows and they turn those wipers on when that ice is on the windshield, and it rips the wipers. So make sure your wipers are in great condition,” he says.
You can also stick a penny in the tread of your tire.
If you see Lincon’s head, the tread is too thin.
“The tire needs to be able to dissipate water or any other material or whatever that’s on the road, slush, snow. If it can’t do that then you can hydroplane and slide and it makes that much easier to get in an accident,” says Preferred’s lead mechanic Larry Jackson.
Many auto places will offer courtesy battery checks to determine how healthy it is.
Also, if you lift your hood and the battery looks nasty, carefully clean it off.
“Do the old trick that I used to do. Take a can of Coke or some baking soda and put it on there. Be careful, make sure you have glasses on or stay away from it. Let it soak on there for a while then rinse it off with water. That’ll help a little bit. It won’t help, naturally, with the tightness of the terminals on the battery, but if you see a lot of corrosion around there, definitely try to get that off of there,” Mickelini says.
If other checks are beyond your skill level, a mechanic can look at other components to make sure your car is as safe as possible.
“Make sure your front end components are good, brake pads are good, because as you well know, coming in to work this morning, gosh, I came up over Hillegas and it was slippery. I’m glad I had good brakes, good suspension components, and naturally stopping well ahead of where you need to stop, too,” Mickelini says.
Mickelini also says you should have someone check your brake lights on the back of your car to ensure that people behind you can see you.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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