How to make sure your vehicle is road-ready after a winter storm

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The snow has stopped, most roads are plowed, your driveway is shoveled and your vehicle is cleared off. But is it truly ready to get back out on the road?

“Every winter we go through a lot of problems with batteries, tire leaks, so on and so forth,” said Donna Hassell, co-owner of Hassell’s Garage in East Providence.

The garage’s phone was ringing off the hook Friday as drivers called in problems that Hassell says are very preventable.

“They definitely need to make sure that they’re maintaining it properly, that their antifreeze is good to -40 degrees, so that it’s not freezing,” Hassell explained. “You can’t just have plain water in there.”

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“You’ve got to make sure your tires are sealed, that you don’t have leaks and you run the proper inflation,” she continued. “Those are the normal, everyday things. You should load check your battery before winter. If your battery is five years old you should be changing it anyway.”

If you notice a vibrating feeling once you get out on the highway, Hassell says that’s caused by snow and ice stuck in your wheels.

Drivers should also make sure to clear snow away from their vehicle’s exhaust system to prevent carbon monoxide leaks and, throughout the winter, check your vehicle’s oil levels and keep your gas tank at least half full.

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