A few cold car care tips

Bethany J. Royer

January 5, 2014

Bethany J. Royer

Staff writer

PIQUA – Leave it to the Farmer’s Almanac to get it right for the winter of 2014, the latest edition released in September predicted frigid temperatures and lots of snow.

One look out the window and that foretelling was right on the nose, even though the sun shone bright in the sky Friday afternoon temps hung in the single digits with wind chills into the evening making it feel even worse. After some 3 to 5 inches of snow fell in the Miami Valley region Wednesday night into Thursday, followed by snow emergencies in a number of counties and school closures or delays.

However, as old man winter was making his presence well known many area residents had to shovel paths out to snow-covered cars with fingers crossed engines would turn over under such bitter conditions.

When asked how the street department fared in terms of cold, wintery conditions while tending to area streets, Brian Brookhart, assistant public works director for the City of Piqua Public Works Department, said that the addition of a fuel additive makes a big difference for their fleet.

“When it gets cold out you will get gel-issues,” Brookhart said of those vehicles with diesel engines and though the additive is not a guarantee, “We’ve been very lucky.”

Of course, a heated building helps, too, with shift changes seeing to the over 20-vehicles in the fleet taking turns inside to warm up.

For those not so fortunate as to have a heated or protected covering for their car, the American Automobile Association, best known as AAA, offers a few tips during such winter extremes by keeping a gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up. Also, know the age of the vehicle’s car battery as they tend to last only 3 to 5 years.

For those that do have a garage never warm a vehicle in an enclosed area, and while on the road do not use cruise control on any slippery surfaces. Tips that will serve those in the Miami Valley well given — and don’t shoot the messenger here — another round of snow is forecast to come into the area on Sunday with sub-zero and single digit temperatures into the first of the week.