Preparing cars for winter


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — When winter comes, even your car can smell it. Freezing temperatures can cause you a lot of car trouble… If you’re not prepared, you can get stuck in the cold.

Mechanics say checking your battery, tires and fluids regularly can help prevent problems when it’s cold outside.

Several weeks ago, when the temperature dropped, Melissa Knee of KAAM’s Auto Repair in Champaign saw an influx of customers needing their tires repaired.

“We had a huge push Monday from everyone who was stuck over the weekend and had their tires banging along the sidewalk,” Knee said. “That black ice can be really scary and can cause a lot of problems, especially if your tires aren’t already secure and not gripping the road properly… You can really get stuck.”

Knee said you can check your own tires at home… And all you need is spare parts.

To check if your tires have enough tread for the winter, mechanics recommend the quarter turn. If the tread reaches the top of Washington’s head, you’re good to go.

And in case you get stuck… It never hurts to have emergency supplies in your trunk, like a special boot bag or tow straps.

“It would be important. especially after seeing what happened out east with the cars, you know, sitting on that main highway for 9 p.m.,” Champaign resident Julie Sherwood said as she walked around.

“Another great tip this time of year is to make sure you keep at least a half tank of gas in your car,” Knee said. “It’s not sure for the car, but if you’re stuck and you’re at a quarter tank and it’s going to be overnight… You’re going to be really, really cold.”

Julie and Dave Sherwood would rather walk in Hessel Park than drive these days. And even if they are prepared to travel… They say the winter hasn’t seemed too bad for the past few years.

“And the reality is that the winters aren’t as harsh as we were used to when we were young,” said Dave Sherwood.


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