Car care tips from a pro

Ever woke up to an ice and snow covered vehicle? You grab the handle and realize the door is frozen shut. And when you finally get in the car and begin to drive, you realize the unplowed road holds nothing but a slippery undercoat? Who hasn’t?

With the winter weather well in tow, there is more to worry about than a new hat and gloves. Your automobile and its condition should be a top priority during the winter

John Mullins, a mechanic at Car X in Newport, Kentucky, has some tips to keep you and your car in good condition throughout this time of year.

If you find yourself with a frozen door, there are things you can buy to solve the problem. But, if you ever need a quick fix, Mullins suggests an easy home remedy – a little warm water. “Never use hot water. It can cause things (like your door handle) to snap,” he said.

Mullins also recommends some tips to keep your car running smoothly. “You should check your antifreeze (or coolant) before and during any winter,” he said.

He added that antifreeze should be changed completely every two years or 2,400 miles.

While inspecting under the hood, Mullins suggests keeping a close eye on oil.

“You should check your oil every time you get gas,” he said. “And have it changed every three months or 3,000 miles.”

“Checking the air in your tires at least once a month is good idea as well,” Mullins said. You also need to have your tires rotated every 5,000 to 6,000 miles.

Mullins offered some driving tips for hazardous road conditions. If ever you begin to slide on the ice, he warns to let off the gas and glide through the ice patch. If the area is really bad, you may need to pump the break and steer in the direction you are sliding.

Some final advice Mullins offers to keep your car “winter-proof” is to go through a car wash after a big snow.

“Use a car wash with an undercarriage,” Mullins said. “The salt gets up into your car and after it sits up there awhile, you can begin to have erosion [to your car and its parts].” Cleaning under your car will help prevent long-term damage.