Care for Your Car in the Cold: Check Your Battery

KINGSTON, Pa. -- Car care is very important when the temperatures drop. Several people woke up Monday to find their cars wouldn't start.

T&F Tire and Supply in Kingston had a busy day helping people whose cars would not start.

"The weather is cold, so it's not uncommon that we're walking outside and hoping that our vehicle is going to start," said T&F's Thomas Tranguch. "There are a couple things to consider. Your battery holds the charge and turns your engine over. Once that car is started, your alternator takes over as a power plant and you're fine. If that battery is going to be weak or marginal when you have temperature extremes, hot or cold, it may fail."

Thomas Tranguch owns T&F Tire and Supply. He had many cars here in his shop in need of a new battery because of the freezing temperatures.

"It's not crazy, but we're getting those panic calls because that's not something you plan. You go out to use your car and it doesn't start, your day is certainly a mess now."

Tranguch says car batteries only last a couple years.

"Today, the average is a little over three years. On the newer cars, there's so many computers that there's always some kind of draw, some kind of charge. They're really used hard."

The best advice T&F Tire and Supply workers have is to get your car checked out before the cold temperatures set in.

"Normally, it's about five, 10 minutes to check the battery," said technician Jim Wolf. "It'll save you a half hour or 45 minutes waiting on a tow truck or having to check it, or jump-start your battery on the side of the road. So someone can come here and you guys will check this for them."

T&F workers say the best time to get your car checked out is in October or November, but it's not too late to make an appointment to get it looked at.

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