Car maintenance tips ahead of this week's cold snap

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - With temperatures dipping as the week goes on, experts are urging people to take the necessary precautions to avoid disaster with their cars.

Affordable Auto Recyclers service manager Kelly Asquith said one thing to keep track of this week is that you have the right kind of anti-freeze.

"It needs to be down to negative 34 degrees Fahrenheit, actual temperature not wind chill temperature," said Asquith.

Asquith said, it should also be swapped at least every three years and always be in stock.

"Just keep it full and make sure they're free of snow and debris when you're driving in this kind of weather," said Asquith.

Asquith said this week they'll probably see a lot of people with cars that just won't start

"They're trying to crank their vehicle over and it just doesn't want to go it just fails," said Asquith. "Alternators can sometimes fail which is the unit that charges the battery and keeps it maintained."

To avoid this, Batteries Plus advises people to avoid short trips.

"It needs time to run, to recharge the battery and that in itself is probably the biggest damage," said Batteries Plus Bulbs Owner Ronald Dengler.

Dengler said when it's this cold out, more energy is being used, which is putting more demand on the battery. Dengler said driving longer distances will give the alternator the right amount of time to recharge.

"Drive around for ten to fifteen minutes in order to fully charge it," said Dengler.

Dengler said a fully-charged car battery can withhold down to 30 below in most cases but when you're not driving a car as often and are frequently making short trips a battery tender could always come in handy.