COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – The winter season is officially here and at full force with the Arctic front sweeping across the nation. Now is the time to winterize your vehicle. 

Freezing temperatures can impact your car’s fluid levels and cause other issues once the storm has passed. Local mechanics urge folks to check their radiator fluid before it’s too late.

“You can also check your fluid at the radiator by removing the cap,” said Scotty Sanders, a mechanic at Tire Masters Service Center. “The biggest caution, and mine says it on its cap, is don’t open it when it’s hot. If you’ve been driving it, let it cool down enough that you can touch it with your bare hands. Then you can take it off and see inside where your current level is.”

Sanders says there are different ways to go about getting the frost off your car windshield. Taking the extra time to let your car warm up for 10 to 15 minutes to keep the fluids moving, makes all the difference.

Mechanics also say residents who prepare their cars ahead of the cold weather can save themselves thousands of dollars in the long run, avoiding severe engine damage.

“It can cost up into the thousands if damage is done to an engine,” said Sanders.

The days leading up to the holidays are usually slow for tire shops and other car service centers. However, with the sub-freezing temperatures on the way, mechanics are expecting more customers after the holiday celebrations. 

The most common issues mechanics see after arctic fronts are cars with low tire pressure, low coolant levels and battery issues. If you’re unsure about what the recommended tire pressure is, mechanics suggest you check the sticker on the inside of the driver’s door. If there is no sticker on the door, you can usually find the specs in the car manual.