Your Money: Winterizing your vehicle

October 22, 2009 4:26:22 AM PDT
Now that the weather is getting cooler, is your car ready?If you're not sure, check out the ABCs of winterizing your car.
A. Tires
B. Battery
C. Coolant

Steve Moll not only owns Raleigh Auto Care but he also offers a class to his customers.

"People want to know how to talk car talk, and they want to know if they're getting ripped off," Moll says.

So he starts with the ABCs.

A is for air pressure. According to Moll, check your tires' air pressure first to make sure your car is ready.

"You can lose up to a third of your tire wear by not adjusting your tire pressure during the winter because cold weather causes tire pressure to go down," Moll says.

A set of tires can wear out in half the time if you don't adjust the pressure, which means a loss of $200 on a set of tires worth $400.

B is for battery. Moll says corrosion on a battery needs to be removed and the cable connection needs to be snug. The older your battery, the more likely you need to have it tested.

C is for coolant. It not only cools, but it also keeps everything from freezing. Over time coolant can get gummy or watered down, which can cause big problems.

A simple test will let you know if your coolant is good.

Moll says bad coolant can "cause premature wear to the engine and can cost more money to fill up your tank."

You can have your tire pressure, battery and coolant checked at home or at places like Moll's. He will even check your ABCs for free.

For more information about Raleigh Auto Care, click here.

If you're like many of Moll's customers who are afraid of getting ripped off at the auto shop, Moll says unfortunately it's a real concern.

"I'd like to think it isn't," Moll says, " but I'd like to think in medicine or anything else if you halfway know what's going on you're going to be better off."

The ABCs won't give you total car care for the winter, but it's a great, overall start.

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