Breaking News
More () »

San Antonio's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | San Antonio, Texas | KENS5.com

Protect your car ahead of the freeze with these simple steps

Get ready for the freeze by taking action now to protect your car. Here are ways to prepare your vehicle from winter’s grip.

SAN ANTONIO — Get ready for the incoming freeze by taking action now to protect your car. There are few simple steps to prepare your vehicle.

KENS 5 spoke with Sirianni Automotive Services about ways to shield your car from freezing temperatures. Owner Louie Sirianni showed the areas to inspect under the hood of a car.

First, get your battery tested and replace it if it’s in poor condition. Typically, auto parts stores can check it for you. 

"If it doesn't want to start and you have a brand new battery, then I would say that you could have something going on with like a starter or could be something electrical," he said. "But if you haven't checked your battery and you go out and it's freezing and it doesn't start, it's going to be the battery."

Another area to examine is the coolant level to make sure it’s full. Sirianni said that if you have only been adding water, you need to pour in antifreeze. The same goes for your washer fluid reservoir. If you have you only added water, that will cause damage to your vehicle.

“It will freeze and crack your tank. You will have added repairs,” he explained. “You could probably use Windex. Any chemical agent that’s made for windows, as long as it mixes with the water; it’ll keep that freezing point lower.”

Sirianni also recommends inspecting your radiator cap and radiator hose.

“If its cracky or super soft, you’ll need to replace it. If you have a puddle or fluid underneath your vehicle, it could be coming from a busted hose,” he said.

As for ways to thaw icy windows, Sirianni said you need to turn on your vehicle to hot and turn on the defrost setting. He suggested not waiting until the vehicle turns warm to turn on the defrost knob. 

If you don’t have an ice scraper, you can use anything plastic that’s rigid.

“You can use anything around your house that’s not metal. Don’t use a shovel or straight blade. You could maybe try a spatula,” Sirianni said. 

You can also use items from around your home, like isopropyl alcohol or salt to quickly thaw the windows. But be sure to not use hot water, because it can crack frozen windows.

“Mix a little bit of water with alcohol – two parts alcohol, one part water – and put that on your windshield," he said. "That will dissolve the ice immediately. You can do the same thing with salt water."