Dangerously cold conditions poses a hazard to drivers

Posted at 1:19 PM, Jan 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-21 07:50:13-05

NEW YORK — Frigid air and high winds are causing dangerous travel conditions throughout the tri-state area after a powerful winter storm pummeled the region over the weekend.

With brutally cold air expected to hit the region with single-digit temperatures Sunday into Monday, AAA is urging motorists to make sure your vehicle is ready to start and run.

Residual moisture and leftover water on roads will freeze or remain frozen and may lead to areas of black ice, according to the NWS.

"A quick call now to AAA or your local mechanic can save you time, money and aggravation as the mercury dips into the teens and single digits,” said Robert Sinclair, Jr., AAA Northeast manager.   

AAA offered tips to prepare drivers for the cold weather conditions:

  • Battery and charging: Have your car battery and charging system tested if it’s more than three years old. Good batteries can lose up to 50-percent when temperatures drop to zero.
  • Tires: Check tire pressure as it drops when the temperature goes down. In areas with snowy weather, install winter tires, if possible.
  • Coolant: Check the coolant level in the overflow tank when the engine is cold. If the level is low, add 50/50 solution of coolant and water to maintain the antifreeze capability. Check the cooling system hoses for leaks, cracks or loose clamps.
  • Ignition: Damaged ignition wires, a cracked distributor cap or warn spark plugs can make starting your car difficult. Driving with a flashing check engine light will permanently damage the engine catalytic convertor.
  • Oil: Have your oil changed for manufacturer recommendations. Have the transmission fluid checked at the same time.
  • Washer fluid: Fill the windshield washer fluid reservoir with winter cleaning solution containing antifreeze components.
  • Wipers: Replace wiper blades that leave streaks or misses spots.
  • Engine warm-up: Extensive warm-ups aren’t necessary. A suggested technique is once the car is running and you’re settled, drive reasonably until the engine comes up to operating temperature.