WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - We’re getting our fair share of subfreezing temperatures in southeastern North Carolina, but something you might not think about is how the cold temperatures are affecting your car.
The number one thing mechanics suggest you do is to get your vehicle checked out. A lot of mechanics will give a free check for oil, tire pressure, antifreeze and your battery.
When you start your car, make sure to let it heat up for 10 to 20 minutes so it reaches a good operating temperature. If you see frost on your windshield, you should not use your windshield wipers since it can take the rubber right off the blades.
It’s not uncommon for tire pressure lights to come on during the winter months. In cold temperatures, the tire will compress and shrink, making it lose some of its pressure, but once the tire starts moving, it will start to heat up and expand back to normal.
Having the right oil is crucial during winter months. Make sure to use a multi-weight oil, shown by two numbers such as 10W-40. The W stands for winter, and the lower the number means it flows more easily. 5W and 0W oils exist, but check your manual to make sure your car can handle it.
If your engine or battery light comes on, it could be a bigger issue.
In cold weather, oil can become thicker and won’t go through the engine as easily. That means your battery has to do more to get the engine moving so it can start.