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Keep Your Car Starting And Running In Frigid Weather

snow covered car in winter
Spencer Platt, Getty Images News

With these Arctic temperatures we’ve been having in central New York, getting your car started and keeping it running is a challenge. My father always had a garage-full of dry gas on hand, but you have to be careful using that now with fuel injector engines. So, how can you keep your car going during these frigid days?

Here are some cold weather car tips from AAA of Western and Central New York, according to

“• Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up and ensure that you have extra “running time” if the weather is unfavorable.

• Be sure you have the proper amount of antifreeze in your vehicle.

• If door locks are frozen, be sure to warm the key or use a lock de-icer. Be sure to never combine heat with lock de-icer as it is flammable. Don’t pour warm water on the car as it may re-freeze, making the situation worse; warming your key first will help heat up the lock from the inside.

• Although modern cars only need 15 to 30 seconds of running time after a cold start, AAA still recommends warming up your vehicle for at least five to 10 minutes before heading out. At all times, make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust or exhaust system leak could cause deadly carbon monoxide to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.

• Consider winter wiper blades and “no-freeze” windshield washer fluid.

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

• Be sure your vehicle is fully equipped with a winter driving kit. The most important safety items are a fully charged cellular telephone and emergency road service coverage; small bag of abrasive material (sand, salt, “non-clumping” kitty litter); a small snow shovel; snow brush and ice scraper; first aid kit.”

Read: Governor Declares State Of Emergency In New York

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