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AAA offers advice on how to prep your car for winter weather

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

AAA reports that one of the number one reasons they respond to calls is due to dead or disabled car batteries during the winter.

"Your vehicle's battery can lose about a third of its power when temperatures are below 32 degrees," said Nick Chabarria with AAA.

AAA says there are some preventative measures drivers can take. Including having your battery tested.

AAA advises drivers to test their batteries if they are 3 years or older, and to replace their batteries if it's 5 years or older.

"With those colder temperatures it's likely going to you know zap the rest of the power from your battery," said Chabarria, "that's a big one to keep in mind if you are traveling this week."

Making sure your car has plenty of gas to get you through any traffic delays is also advised. AAA suggests having at least half of a take in your gas in the event of an emergency.

"You of course want fuel in your vehicle to be able to at least safely run your vehicle to stay warm," said Chabarria, "it's important in case you do wind up getting stuck."

Ensuring that your tires have enough tread to get you through the snow and that your tires are fully inflated is also advised.

Chabarria said you can check the tread depth of your tires by placing a quarter upside down in the tread. If you can see the top of Washington's head stick out, then it might be time to get some new ones.

When it does snow AAA says you should.

  • Clear all snow and ice from the vehicle’s windows, roof, hood, trunk lid, and any other covered areas. This will reduce risk because it increases your visibility. Additionally, drivers around you won’t be blinded by snow blowing off your vehicle.
  • Use an ice scraper to remove snow and ice from your windshield and all windows, including side and rear windows. This will improve your ability to see other roadway users that may move into your path of travel.
  • To optimize visual clarity, clean the outside and inside of your windshield at least once a week. Frequent cleaning is even more important if you smoke.
  • Keep your car’s windshield and rear-window defrosters in good working condition.
  • Keep your windshield wiper blades fresh. Many drivers change them every six months, especially before driving in bad weather.

While you are driving AAA suggests.

  • Make sure your headlights are on. In fact, it is a good idea to turn on your headlights any time you drive, because you will increase your visibility in any conditions.
  • Reduce your speed and leave plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Brake gently to avoid skidding.
  • Do not use cruise control on any wet, snow-covered or icy roads.
  • Be aware of possible icy roads. Be especially careful on bridges and overpasses, which freeze sooner than roads. And even at temperatures above freezing, if conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
  • Be careful on infrequently traveled roads, which may not be cleared as often as other roads.

Additional information on driving in winter conditions can be found at How to Go on Ice and Snow.

Article Topic Follows: News
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Marina Diaz

Marina is a Multimedia Journalist for ABC 17 News, she is originally from Denver, Colorado. She went to Missouri Valley College where she played lacrosse and basketball, and anchored her school’s newscast.

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