How to properly maintain your car in winter weather

How to properly maintain your car in winter weather

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The worst thing you can do when winter weather hits is start your car and hit the road right away. Mechanics at Jiffy Lube recommend warming your car up first before leaving the driveway.

Ryan Delconte, the manager at Jiffy Lube in Myrtle Beach, said operating your car while it is too cold puts too much strain on the car. All the systems and fluids need to warm up to operate properly.

When it comes to de-icing your windshield, Delconte said the last thing you want to do is put hot water on the windshield. He said that will melt the ice quickly, but that will also crack your windshield. Delconte recommend using an 80:20 mixture of water and rubbing alcohol.

"Rubbing alcohol has a freeze point of about 15 degrees below zero, I believe," said Delconte. "So once you put that on there, it's instantly going to mix with that water and it will melt that ice on that windshield really, really fast. And like I said, it's going to be a lot safer than trying to put some hot water."

And if you try to let your windshield wipers do the work to scrape the ice off for you, Delconte said that will ruin the rubber on the wiper blades very quickly and possibly scrape the windshield. You can avoid all of this by warming the car up for at least five minutes before driving off.

If the defroster isn't working in your car, that means your air conditioning system is not working. A proper working A/C system allows the windshield to dehumidify properly.

And the biggest problem Delconte said his mechanics are seeing right now is low tire pressure. Cold weather makes the pressure in your tires drop.

"It's very important that the air pressure in the tire is set to what the manufacturer recommends," said Delconte. "The weight of the vehicle determines that. And that also allows for the best traction on the roads in the icy times. So you want to make sure that air pressure is correct in those tires."

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