Sheldon, Iowa — We made it through the last run of subzero weather, but there’s some snow forecast for the middle of the week, and after that, we could see some more below-zero lows. During the bitter cold snap last week, those who fix cars were kept quite busy with cars that wouldn’t start. We talked with Mike Christians, who runs Larry’s Repair in Sheldon. He told us some things to keep in mind to keep your car running next time the bitter cold strikes.
He says if a car won’t start, more than likely nowadays, it’s the battery.
Years ago, there may have been some other things to check in really cold weather, but the newer cars just need a good battery and regular maintenance, says Christians.
Some people have had issues with water in the fuel, which could cause ice to form and block the fuel lines, but he says that’s not very common in gasoline-powered vehicles in his experience.
Another problem people see a lot when the mercury drops to subzero levels is their tire pressure monitoring system. He says it seems like it’s more of an issue now than it used to be, but he says with the new technology in cars, people are just more aware of it. But he says it could be an issue that you should have checked.
He says they see all kinds of other issues too when it gets really cold.
He says if your battery is more than five years old, you should consider replacing it. He says in subzero weather, it’s best to start a car and let it warm up a little before you take it down the road. He says working a very cold engine and other parts isn’t good for them, and you might save yourself some trouble — and keep yourself warm — by letting your car warm up first. And if you have issues, he says give him or another mechanic a call, and they’ll give you some help.