Here's how to keep your car running as temperature reach near zero this week

<p><p>With temperatures potentially hitting the negatives this week, local mechanics say they already are seeing problems related to the cold in vehicles arriving at their shops.</p></p><p><p>One of the most common problems is batteries, said Austin Adair, the service adviser at Mechanics Pride Tire &amp; Automotive, and Michael Rogers, district manager at Divine’s Auto Repair Shop.</p></p><p><p>Around freezing is when batteries, particularly ones around five years or older , begin to struggle. It’s best to get batteries checked and make sure they are up for the more extreme temperatures.</p></p><p><p>Cars that sit mostly untouched during the winter months should be on a “battery maintainer” if in a garage, said Adair said. Cars that are kept outside should be jump-started every month and charged for 20 minutes or so to help preservation.</p></p><p><p>You may also see low tire pressure, especially if the pressure was set during warmer temperatures, Adair said. You’ll need to have the proper pressure to fit the lower ambient temperatures that Spokane is experiencing as the colder temperatures take the air out.</p></p><p><p>Other general maintenance is also important.</p></p><p><p>Now that the heater is being used more, it may struggle to keep up if not up to standard.</p></p><p><p>If the windshield fluid and the antifreeze do not have a proper freezing temperature, they may freeze and lead to major issues such as broken hoses, soft plugs or freeze plugs in the motor popping out, or even cracking an engine block, the worst-case scenario, Adair said.</p></p><p><p>Some of the other most common calls to the mechanic shop are ice related and concerning frozen door handles, windshield wipers, sealed doors and door locks with built -up ice.</p></p><p><p>Instead of simply “pulling harder” or using hot water that can destroy entire windshields, Adair said that the many options for de-icing products are the key to solving these common problems. Rogers said drivers that have remote-start vehicles, the best idea is to let the car run for at least 10 minutes, and try to open the door frame instead of just the handle that can easily break off.</p></p><p><p>Both Adair and Rogers said motorists should never use the windshield wipers to try to clear off snow because the wiper can tear if it’s frozen to the window. </p></p><p><p>Adair recommends warming vehicles for about 15 minutes before leaving. Besides helping the care to defrost, it will run more smoothly because the motor works best when at full operating temperatures.</p></p><p><p>A warmer car also helps make the driver more comfortable because “an uncomfortable driver cannot stay safe behind the wheel. If you’re constantly thinking about how cold you are, you’re not thinking about your driving, and you have to be a comfortable driver to be a good driver, which is something people don’t really think about,” Adair said.</p></p>