Drivers encouraged to prepare for sub-zero temps


Staff report



Since midnight AAA’s Roadside Rescue Team has come to the aid of 450 stranded Miami Valley area drivers. Meteorologists in the Miami Valley area are calling for temperatures to drop down to zero tonight, combined with a wind chill effect that could drop the temperature to nearly 20 below zero. With a long weekend for some motorists, Tuesday morning will be like a Monday bringing an “arctic zap” to them and their vehicles. AAA offers these tips to area drivers:

Driver Readiness

Make sure your AAA membership is up to date. Since the bitterly cold weather moved in yesterday AAA’s Roadside Rescue Team has come to the rescue of nearly 700 Miami Valley area drivers. Renew or join AAA by visiting the website AAA.com, or by calling or visiting any local AAA office.

– Pack a winter survival kit including the following items:

• Charge cell phone before leaving home and keep a car charger in your vehicle charger

• Blankets and heavy winter clothing

• Disposable hand and feet warmers

• Scraper

• Shovel

• Flashlight

• Battery jumper cables

• Water

Vehicle Readiness

– Motorists need to make sure they have adequate levels of antifreeze. Inadequate anti-freeze can cause engine damage that will run into the thousands of dollars to repair.

– A strong battery is critical when temperatures drop into the single digits. Make sure your battery has ample starting power. At 0 degrees Fahrenheit, your battery loses about 35 percent of its power and your engine needs 2.5 times more power to start than on a warm summer day.

– To avoid frozen door or door locks, buy a lubricant that is available in most auto supply stores. It’s best to apply di-icing solution before the colder temperatures arrive.

– If possible, avoid using your parking brake in below-freezing weather as it may freeze in the locked position

– If vehicle has been outside for more than an hour, start it and let it warm up a few minutes before driving to allow fluids (oil, transmission fluid, etc.) to warm up

– Check your tire pressure weekly to prevent a flat. For every 10 degrees the temperature drops, you lose one pound of tire pressure.

– Park your car in the garage. If you have no garage, select a place that is protected from wind and park your vehicle so the front grill is turned away from the wind or use a tarp or cardboard across the grill to protect the engine.

– Drivers are advised to keep gas tanks at least a half full to allow for extra running time to contend with possible delays caused by crashes along highways.

Staff report