Clarks’ Matt Weber in Chicago Tribune; Cars and the cold

Clarks’ Matt Weber in Chicago Tribune; Cars and the cold

Those who need to head to work should take extra care of their vehicles.

Matt Weber, of Clark’s Car Care in Naperville, said modern day cars will start no matter what temperature. With the number of computers they use, all you need to do is turn the key.

But like any computer, they won’t work without power.

Weber urges drivers to be proactive and have the vehicle’s battery checked before the really cold temperatures arrive. If the battery is slightly weak, get it replaced.

As for warming up a car, many myths surround the need to do this and how often, Weber said.

While cars don’t need to warm up, it won’t hurt and it lets the fluids warm, windows to defrost and the inside temperature increase, he said.

“I would recommend a good three minutes,” Weber said. “I personally have an auto remote start where I can start the car from 1,000 feet away. It’s next best thing to sliced bread.”

As for periodically starting the car throughout the day, Weber says don’t do it. Starting a car, especially in cold, is the hardest time for an engine. “It puts more strain on the battery, charging system and engine … less is more,” he said.

Another area to check is tire pressure. “No one checks it, and with the extended oil change now a days, tires do run low on air, which kills the tires,” Weber said.

Drivers should keep tires inflated to the number on the sticker on the inside of the drivers door, he said. “That sticker does not lie, and every car is different. Front, rear and spare tires can take different pressures,” he added.

Finally, Weber suggests upgrading windshield washer solvent to something usually purple in color because it is designed for use at lower temperatures.

“It works so much better than the blue stuff. Blue is just water and some alcohol. It really does not melt the ice,” he said. “The purple stuff with Rain-x on your glass, you will barely need wipers.”