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RISMEDIA, February 3, 2010—With cold winter weather bearing down on much of the country, motorists can avoid breaking down and being stranded by investing a little time on preventive maintenance of their vehicle, according to the Car Care Council. Peace of mind while driving is a powerful defense against the ravages of winter.

The Car Care Council recommends some quick tips to keep your vehicle running smoothly this winter:

-Keep the battery connections clean, tight and corrosion-free. Since batteries don’t always give warning signs before they fail completely, it’s wise to replace batteries that are more than three years old.

-Antifreeze (coolant) should be flushed and refilled at least every two years in most vehicles. The mixture of antifreeze and water is typically 50:50. As a reminder, don’t make the mistake of adding 100% antifreeze.

-Change to low-viscosity oil in winter, as it will flow more easily between moving parts when cold. Drivers in sub-zero driving temperatures should drop their oil weight from 10-W30 to 5-W30 as thickened oil can make it hard to start the car.

-Keep the gas tank at least half full, decreasing the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing.

-Tire pressure should also be checked, as tires will lose pressure when temperatures drop- consider special tires if snow and ice are a problem in your area.

-Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.

-Allow your car a little more time to warm up when temperatures are below freezing to let the oil in the engine and transmission circulate and get warm.

-If you live in a place with especially severe winter conditions, consider using cold weather washer fluid and special winter windshield blades.

For more information, visit www.carcare.org.

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