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Top cold weather dangers for your car

9:08 PM, Jan 6, 2014   |    comments
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  • 11 Alive News cars not exempt from cold problems
  • Black ice on Atlanta road
  • Cold is a car battery's enemy
  • Have at least 50% anti-freeze in Atlanta weather
  • Tire pressure and tread wear can affect cold performance
  • Jim Casal of AAA South
    

ATLANTA - For the most part, metro Atlanta dodged black ice on our roads as temperatures plunged, but high winds helped dry up Sunday night's rain and snow flake mix.

But the descent toward single digit temperatures Monday night could still mean problems for plenty of drivers.

We didn't have to look beyond our own parking lot here at 11Alive to find at least one of our news cars disabled by the number one cold casualty: a dead battery.

"Dying batteries, car won't start because your battery's dead," AAA South service center manager Jim Casal told us.

Casal suggested car batteries be checked with each oil change, especially in newer cars that can put a greater demand on them.

"All these newer cars, there're so many computers in them that even when you shut your car off, it's still getting a draw on it," he added.

He said the number two problem is not enough anti-freeze in the radiator.

"You don't want too much water in your engine because it will freeze and crack your motor and then you're in trouble," he explained.

Big trouble, like needing a new engine block.

In addition to checking radiator fluid regularly, AAA recommends at least 50% anti-freeze in the water mixture in Atlanta's climate.

The third biggest cold weather car problem, according to Casal, is where the rubber meets the road.

"Low tire pressure, cold roads, you'll slip just like if you were on ice," he said.

Casal said cold weather can sap from five to seven pounds of tire pressure.

Worn tread can make it even worse, he added.

As someone who grew up on Long Island, New York, he also recommended a blanket in the car to help keep warm if you do get stranded.

And make sure your cell phone is fully charged to call for help.

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