Cold weather can cause car woes

The recent cold snap has caused some Keremeos motorists grief as they have to deal with dead batteries and other cold weather issues.

Keremeos automotive technician Sean Hitchen checks a battery at K Mountain Auto in Keremeos. The latest cold snap has resulted in some driving inconveniences for village motorists.

Keremeos automotive technician Sean Hitchen checks a battery at K Mountain Auto in Keremeos. The latest cold snap has resulted in some driving inconveniences for village motorists.

The recent cold snap in the Similkameen has caused some Keremeos motorists grief as they suddenly have to deal with dead batteries and other cold weather related issues.

Sean Hitchen of K Mountain Auto has seen a spike in calls for assistance due to battery failures, as well as other problems.

“In the winter, the colder weather thickens the oil, making it more difficult for the engine to turn over when starting. A cold engine needs more power to start, so while your battery may start your car in the warmer months, once it gets cold out, your battery may fail,” said Hitchen. He advises motorists to check battery posts for loose or corroded connections as well. Hitchen also offers free battery tests.

While on the subject of cold weather driving, Hitchen also offers the following reminders of other things to check to ensure trouble free winter driving.

“Antifreeze strength is important during cold snaps like the one we are experiencing,” he said. “Make sure your antifreeze is at the right strength so that your engine, radiator and hoses don’t freeze and crack.”

Winter wiper blades in good condition are also a must. Road spray and shortened daylight make it important for motorists to have windshields that are as clear as possible.

An all season windshield washer fluid is also vital in cold temperatures, as summer washer fluids can freeze and crack your windshield washer pump.

Finally, Hitchen offers advice similar to that of the RCMP – there is no substitute for good winter tires.

Winter tires are made with a softer rubber compound, which allows the tire to grip in colder weather better than all season tires,” Hitchen said, who routinely checks these items during oil change servicing in his shop.