Cars begin to crater in the cold - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cars begin to crater in the cold

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - It's a vicious cycle -- as temperatures drop, more cars end up in service centers.

Parts and service director Aaron Potter at Witham Auto Center in Waterloo said the shop has been bustling the last few days. Mechanics are staying busy working on cars, seeing a lot of the same issues.

Potter said one of the biggest concerns he's seeing is tire pressure. The extreme cold causes the air in tires to contract, lighting up warning signs in the driver's dash.

Fluids can also freeze when temperatures stay in the negative digits.

"We see people right now with windshield washer solvent that's frozen in those tanks and won't come out," Potter said. "Coolant that maybe wasn't set to a cold enough temperature where it's caused overheating concerns."

The extreme cold can also cause car batteries to fail. Potter said it's not just the older ones, as newer batteries can be troublesome, too.

He recommends letting the car warm up for at least 10 minutes before driving.

Contrary to common belief, it's actually not advised to start the car multiple times a day without the intent of driving; all that starting can hurt the battery in the long run.

Auto experts also recommend walking a lap around the car each day in the winter, scanning the tires to check for low pressure.
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