AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Auto professionals say a vehicle that is experiencing any problems can get much worse during cold weather. So it's very important to maintain your vehicle to avoid being stranded.
"The trouble with winter driving is that everything needs to be proactive," said Frank Martin, retail manager of Peps Boys on Washington Rd. "Once the weather turns cold, like it did this morning, It's really too late."
And waiting too late can cause major malfunctions.
"If your car is low on antifreeze, it's frozen up. If your tires are slick and you hit an icy spot, you've lost control," Martin said.
There is a way to be in control, however. It all starts with preparation.
"Places like Pep Boys and most places like us are willing to come out and check your fluids and make sure every thing's right and meet manufacturer specification and get you ready," said Martin.
But if you're not ready, be careful that your vehicle isn't frozen.
"About the worst thing you can do is crank it up and run it," Martin continued.
Even if the engine isn't frozen, it is quite possible that the radiator and the hoses are.
"When the thermostat opens, it's not going to allow the free flow of water and the engine is going to overheat and that's when really bad things will happen," Martin said. "We're talking about having to replace an engine."
Martin also said that warming up your car doesn't do much, other than make the driver comfortable. Of course, if you are thinking about starting your car, don't leave it unattended for too long. It is an easy way for car thieves to drive away with it.