How to help your car survive the winter

ST. LOUIS, MO — Has your car been knocked out by this bitter cold weather? What happens if it breaks down and you get stranded? Are you prepared? If not, there is still plenty of winter left.  Service manager Bill Van Iwaarden at Jim Butler Auto Group is here to help you eep your car running.

Some tips to help your car survive winter:

Keep a roadside emergency kit in your trunk. This could include a flashlight, blanket, small shovel, gloves, coolant, window washer fluid.

Check your battery. When the temperature drops, so does battery power. And a cold engine needs more battery power to start.

Check the antifreeze. Coolant expands when it freezes, and that's bad because it can damage your engine. Make sure you refill with antifreeze that can withstand winter temps.

Fill up on windshield washer fluid. This is critical if you`re driving in low visibility such as a snowstorm, ice storm or fog. A dirty windshield reduces visibility even more. Check the rating on the fluid to make sure it can handle freezing temps.

Check wipers, defrosters. Winter is a good time to replace your wipers since we get a fair amount of snow and ice in st. Louis. Stop by a service center if you have any trouble putting on new wipers. Most technicians will help out free of charge.

Inspect your tires. "bad" tires have worn treads, uneven wear, degraded rubber. Use the "penny test" to see if your tread is still good or if the tires need to be replaced.

Check your tire pressure. Tire pressure drops when the temperature drops, and having too little air in your tires makes them less safe and causes them to wear out faster. It also decreases fuel efficiency.