Frigid temps take their toll on Michiana cars

With the steep drop in temperatures, a local repair shop is seeing a sharp rise in customers. Tom's Car Care Center in South Bend has double the number of customers coming in with dead batteries or headlight bulbs that have shattered from the cold.

If caring for your car is taking a back seat to everything else in your life, it may end up costing you time and money.

Waking up to a snow-covered car and frozen windshield is never fun, especially if you're running late. But in your rush to get where you're going, you can avoid some common mistakes that could cost you in the long run. News Center 16 talked with Dan Bango, the manager at Tom's Car Care Center in South Bend for some tips on how to make sure your car doesn't slow you down when the weather gets cold.

One example is allowing the water level in your car battery get low.

"If it's low, you want to add distilled water to your battery. That keeps the cells so that they're recharging correctly," said Bangor.

Turning your wiper blades on as soon as you get in your car...

"Make sure that [your windshield wipers are] not stuck to the windshield before you turn them on," said Bangor. "Once you turn it on, if they're stuck to [the windshield], it's going to rip the rubber," said Bangor.

Standing your wiper blades up to keep them from freezing...

"Because what can happen is the wind could catch it or the spring could actually have enough tension to pull it down. It could snap down hard enough that it could actually break your windshield, especially in the cold temperatures," said Bangor.

Pouring hot water on your car door seals when they're frozen to get them open...

"That's going to freeze it back up, and you're going to have more problems," said Bangor.

Instead, take a couple of preventative measures for your car door seals and locks before the next cold snap.

"Lubricate the rubber around your doors to make sure that that doesn't freeze," said Bangor.

Bangor said multi-purpose sprays such as WD40 or even vegetable oil would work as lubricants. He also said there are de-icers that can be sprayed into car door locks and windshield wiper fluid that contains de-icer.

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