Expert Warns Cold Weather Could Damage Cars

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MCALLEN – Rio Grande Valley drivers are preparing for the cold temperatures. Experts say they could negatively impact your vehicle.

Paul Vazaldua is a Valley Lyft driver. He says being prepared requires continuous effort.

"You always have to have your car ready, your car clean, your car fueled up," said Vazaldua. "And make sure that your car's ready to pick up passengers to get them on the go.”

He relies on his car to supplement his income. He says the chilly conditions present could compromise his chances of doing so this winter.

"This is new weather for us. We're not used to it and our cars aren't either," said Vazaldua. "It's something that we have to prepare for. Checking the tire pressure, checking the antifreeze."

Antonio Mendoza Jr. or “Tony” manages a Walmart Auto Center. Mendoza Jr. told CHANNEL 5 NEWS where you live often determines how your car reacts to unusual weather patterns.

"Cold weather will affect your car battery," said Mendoza Jr. "Batteries are here, they're built and conditioned for the climate you live at."

In this case, your car batteries are used to warm Valley weather. He says the weather change could cause them to become less effective.

As a result, you're encouraged to have jumper cables handy and make sure the battery's terminals aren't corroded. The same conditions could even cause your tires to deflate as well.

"When the rubber gets cold, they become hard and then you start to leak air," said Mendoza Jr.

Mendoza Jr. says recommends drivers replace the antifreeze at least once every three years. Antifreeze keeps your engine from freezing in cold temperatures. He says “weak” antifreeze can do a number on your car's motor.

"It could freeze up and crack the block in your engine because it's weak antifreeze," explained Mendoza Jr. "So that's why it's so important to change it out and within every three years change it out, that way to prevent that.

Mendoza says repairing a cracked engine block could cost thousands of dollars. He adds prevention is your best play in keeping your car safe this winter. He also recommends having your car serviced this winter if you haven't already.

Vazaldua took his vehicle in for a checkup earlier Monday afternoon. He's hopeful it's enough to avoid a problem on the road.

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