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Sunday, November 24, 2013 - 12:13am
El Paso, TX (KDBC) — The plunging temperatures don't just affect your outdoor plans, they can also take a toll on your car.
Just like how you wouldn't leave the house without a heavy jacket, don't expect your car to function properly if you don't take extra care of it during the winter.
Experts urge you not to take any chances when you're out on the road and prepare your car for the winter first.
Make sure to check your car's ignition, brakes, and battery, and keep a spare tool kit and jumper cables in your trunk.
"You want to keep antifreeze and keep good tires on it and keep good traction," said Mark Mullenax, the manager at Napa Auto Care Collision Center off Airway.
Mullenax says the antifreeze keeps your radiator from freezing when temperatures drop and any damage to it could be pricey.
"It can cost anywhere from $500 to $5000," he said.
Brandon Villa says he and his family learned that the hard way, and had to pay a visit to Napa Auto Care Collision Center for help.
"We had to come to get the radiator fixed because it was too cold," he said.
Other helpful tips to get your car through the winter safely include having a properly inflated spare tire handy, a shovel, and a bag of salt.
Always keep a first aid kit and non-perishable foods like nuts, dried fruit, and hard candy on you in case you get stranded.
But remember, having your car serviced when the seasons change is probably the best way to prevent accidents from happening, and Brandon says it's a lesson they've learned well.
"We do it almost every year, it's just for maintenance. We get our oil changed and all that kind of stuff," he said.
For more information on protecting your car this winter season, visit http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/director_staff/public_information/pr010510.pdf