Staying Home Because of Ice and Snow is Not an Option for Many

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND COUNTY--Before you jump in your car to head to work or school, make sure it's equipped to handle mother nature.

With temperatures expected to stay below freezing over the next few days, it's important to make sure your car or truck is ready and able to tackle those conditions. Automotive specialists NewsWest 9 spoke to say, you can take care of it now or they can take care of you, later.

"Pay me now or pay later, the big bucks," Erby Zarate, Owner of E & R Automotive in Midland, said.

Zarate has been in the automotive repair business for 27 years. When it comes to winterizing your vehicle, he says there are a few things every driver should know.

"Take it to your local mechanic shop and get him to flush out the coolant, replace the thermostat, check all the belts and hoses, because the cold weather will affect that," Zarate explained.

These types of repairs could easily be done by your neighborhood shade tree mechanic, but it's best to have them done by a professional.

According to Zarate, "You're going to get professional service. Not only that, you're going to get a warranty on the work we do here and it's a good insurance that the job is done right."

Winterizing your car or truck doesn't stop with the engine. Driver's should pay attention as much to the outside as they do the inside.

"Tires are a big factor. Make sure you have plenty of treads and air pressure is very critical. Your wiper blades, that's also another thing. We have to service them and check them," Zarate said.

Experts like Zarate say it's all a matter of preventative maintenance, making sure everything runs right, all year round. Paying a couple hundred dollars today, could save you a lot more, tomorrow.

"It should run you about $300 to do it right. If you don't bother to do anything to your vehicle, we could be talking about $6,000 of damage here, an engine replacement and a new radiator," Zarate said.