3 easy steps to help keep your car running this winter

"When it hits the the zeros a battery can lose up to 50% of its charge," said Advanced Auto Parts Assistant Manager Joe Sherwood.

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- With the frigid temperatures sticking around, staying warm can be difficult for both you and your car.

Experts say there are three simple things you can do to prevent car troubles this winter.

  1. Check your battery.
  2. Fill the tank.
  3. Check the antifreeze.

Three small steps, that could potentially make a big difference before you hit the road.

Fox Grand Traverse Assistant Service Manager David Cholger says today's car batteries tend to last about five to seven years.

"So if you're on that verge it's probably a good idea to do it before it becomes a problem," said Cholger.

He said a dead battery tends to be the most common car issue during the winter.

"When it hits the zeros a battery can lose up to 50% of its charge," said Advanced Auto Parts Assistant Manager Joe Sherwood.

Sherwood said every winter they tend to see an increase in battery sales.

"The colder it gets the more people show up wanting their batteries tested because they had to jump it," said Sherwood.

Cholger said there is an easy way to make sure you don't end up with a dead battery. All you have to do is drive.

"As far as starting and running the vehicle, today's vehicles desire a little bit more as far as the electrical demand on them," said Cholger. "So they do need to be driven rather than just started and letting them idle."

"A 20 to 30-minute drive at 30 mph is usually what it takes to fully charge it back up," said Sherwood.

The next thing you can do to keep your car running smoothly is fill up the tank.

"The more fuel you have in the tank the less room you have for condensation or temperature change to take effect," said Cholger.

The final thing is making sure you have fresh antifreeze.

"What happens is that over time the antifreeze degrades and it's no longer able to keep it from freezing at a subzero temperature," said Cholger.

Both experts said its important to make sure you have a backup plan. Such as keeping a jump starter in your car so you can restart your vehicle even if no one else is around.

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