Experts advise on what to do to get your vehicle ready for the cold

Published 6:20 pm Friday, December 29, 2017

Temperatures throughout Warren County are expected to dip as low as 15 degrees Monday and Tuesday and stay consistently below 40 degrees through Friday meaning it is time to make sure your vehicle is ready for the cold weather.

Marty Stokes, the shop foreman at George Carr, and Cory Williamson, the service manager for both Cannon dealerships in Vicksburg, recommend that drivers check their tires before driving in the cold and also double check the antifreeze levels in their engines.

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“The colder it is, the air pressure goes down when it is colder because of the density,” Stokes said. “Generally you will have lower air pressure in the cold weather than you do in the summer time. The heat creates air pressure, which can make them swell. Check the antifreeze, check tire pressures, it is a good idea to check batteries. The battery usually takes a beating when it gets cold.”

Williamson also recommended checking your tires to make sure they aren’t worn and have good tread as road conditions can quickly deteriorate in the cold. He added to also be aware that cars doors could stick in the cold if you have trouble opening them at first. recommends keeping your car in a garage or under a carport when it is cold outside to help keep it warm and reduce stress on the battery. If storing your car in the garage be careful when turning it on to warm it up as the exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide, which can be deadly if the car is turned on in a closed garage.

The weather forecast for Saturday and Sunday nights call for rain, which mixed with below freezing temperatures can create dangerous conditions of the roads.

“If we have any kind of ice I would discourage anybody from driving,” Warren County emergency management director John Elfer said. “First reason is we don’t get that kind of weather down here usually and people aren’t used to driving on it. Ice is very difficult to drive on even if you have a four-wheel drive. From what I saw on the forecast, especially in northern Warren County there is chance that we will have ice on elevated and the regular roadways.”

Elfer said the Warren County road department and the Mississippi Department of Transportation are on standby in case the roads do ice, but that roads will still likely be slick.

“Our road department has aggregate that they put out. They’re got special trucks designed to spread that and they’ll treat the bridges first and then if we need to treat the regular roadways we will,” Elfer said. “The preparation has been going on basically the last few days where all that stuff is getting loaded and prepositioned so all we have to do if we start getting slick roads is deploy those assets.”