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Tips on winterizing your vehicle, staying safe on the roads

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Posted at 8:24 AM, Nov 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-30 12:17:51-05

We’re less than a month away from the official beginning of winter on Dec. 21, so it may be a good time to winterize your vehicle.

Redford Auto Repair in Michigan says preparation is key in cold and snowy conditions. When it comes to winterizing your vehicle, some necessities are obvious, like having functional wiper blades and a scraper. However, other things may only become apparent when you least expect it.

"Winter, think about our bodies in the wintertime. It's harder on our bodies, our bones. It's harder on our cars," said Joseph Schork, co-manager of Redford Auto Repair.

He said when there's more stress on your vehicle, the weakest point can lead to failure.

"Definitely, if you haven't flushed your coolant, coolant flushes are a must. We've had a lot of thermostat issues this week," Schork advised.

He explained, "We do 130-point inspection. We check out tire pressure. In the wintertime, you get tires deflating. So, proper tire pressure."

Also, if the check engine light comes on, he advises getting a quick scan. Stay up on oil changes. Make sure you always have no less than a quarter tank of gas.

"Because once they get below a quarter, you start getting that good sediment, water, gunk in the bottom of the tank," Schork described.

He says his shop services a lot of vehicle fuel pumps needing repair this time of year. While most vehicles still run on gas, none of them start up without the help of electricity.

"Batteries, alternators, starters," Schork listed.

Let's say your vehicle is good to go. Well, municipalities ask that drivers do their part behind the wheel as well.

"There's still chances for roads or bridge decks to freeze up and there will be a little spot of ice and that's all it takes sometimes to have an accident happen. So please, drive appropriately for the conditions. Slow down," said Craig Bryson, senior communications manager for the Oakland County Road Commission in Michigan.

Being prepared if you get stuck or stranded is another aspect to keep in mind. Keep a blanket in your car, along with jumper cables, a flashlight and batteries and non-perishable food items.

This story was originally published by Darren Cunningham at WXYZ.