Cold Weather Automotive Tips from AAA


INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Nov. 27, 2018 – Wintertime temperatures can adversely affect automobiles in many ways. Tire pressure can drop significantly, batteries are likely to be weakened, engine belts can lose a certain amount of flexibility and hoses can be put under a lot of stress.

Before a big chill...

  • Make sure your gas tank is filled up at least half way to avoid fuel line freeze-up issues.
  • Check your tires to ensure they're properly inflated.
  • Spray WD-40 or another general purpose lubricant into key holes to help prevent frozen locks.
  • Fight the urge to wash your automobile--lingering water will freeze in your car's locking mechanism and may even make it difficult to open doors.
  • Pack your vehicle with an emergency kit that includes things such as non-perishable food items, blankets and extra clothing, a first-aid kit, abrasive material such as sand, salt or cat litter, windshield washer deicer fluid and a snow brush/ice scraper. For a complete list of recommended items, please click here.

If you encounter frozen locks...

  • Spray WD-40 or another deicing fluid from a warm can directly into the lock.
  • Cup your hands together and blow warm air directly into the key holes.
  • DO NOT force a key or other instrument into a frozen lock.
  • NEVER pour hot water on or into a frozen lock.

See and be seen!

Clear visibility is important in all driving conditions but it's especially crucial when rain, fog, freezing rain, sleet and snow are a possibility.

  • Windshield wiper blades that streak should be immediately replaced.
  • Your automobile's washer reservoir bottle should be kept full of anti-freezing washer solvent.
  • To help prevent damage to your wiper blades and motor, make sure windshield wipers are free of ice and snow and turned off before starting your car's engine.

The warm-up process

  • When allowing your vehicle's engine to warm up, never do so in an enclosed area and never leave a vehicle unattended with the engine running.