SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Experts say now is as good of a time as ever to prepare your vehicle for snowy conditions, whether it’s taking it to a mechanic or stocking up your trunk.
“Think about things ahead of time, make a plan while the weather’s decent,” said Bob Oien, with Frerichs Garage.
Bob Oien is a mechanic that works at Frerichs Garage In Sioux City. Oien is reminding Siouxlanders that keeping a vehicle up to date can save a person money at the least and may be even be lifesaving.
“Under the hood you want to make sure and check the date of the battery, you want to make sure the cables are clean,” Oien said. “You want to make sure your oil’s been changed, you want to make sure that your coolant is good to 35 below zero… we want to make sure that the tires, of course, are in excellent shape. There’s wear bars on them to look and see where they’re at.”
Getting a vehicle in the shop can take a week or two to get scheduled. Oien said the cold weather is harsh on vehicles and can result in people paying double the price of a typical checkup for repairs.
“Well, the worst case scenario is that motors are going to freeze up and you’ll crack the block and the motor, it could ruin the engine in it,” he said. “So you definitely want to make sure your coolant is right. $6,500 to $10,000 depending on the vehicle.”
It’s important to remember that getting your vehicle to the mechanic doesn’t guarantee there won’t be winter driving problems. According to the Department Of Transportation, each year 24% of weather related accidents occur on snowy, slushy, and icy pavement, and 15% happen during snowfall or sleet.
Rebecca Socknat, the Plymouth County Emergency Manager, recommended putting together an emergency kit for your automobile.
“If you don’t have one in your vehicle, start putting a couple things in there like blankets, some non-perishable foods, water, things like that,” she said. “You never know when something bad happens. Emergency managers plan for the things that aren’t supposed to happen, so just relaying that to the public, in a sense, they can help themselves if something like this were to occur.”
With Thanksgiving approaching, Socknat recommends people keep on eye on local weather conditions as well as what the forecast calls for while out on a journey.