Quick steps to save on car repairs during cold weather

Vehicles sit parked and covered with snow in Indianapolis in single-digit temperatures on Dec. 26, 2017. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Plenty of cars made trips to the auto shop Tuesday for a flat tire, dead battery or no heat.

Many went due to the extremely cold weather. That visit can cost you hundreds, even potentially a thousand dollars.

“Cars are cars. You have to watch over them. You invest in them and you got to protect them,” said Chris Cooper, the manager at All Star Tire & Auto Service Co.

But there are some steps you can take. Cooper said, first, you should check the air pressure. You can eyeball the bottom to see if it has flattened at all. You can also use a tire pressure gauge.

Cooper said the cold weather can significantly drop tire pressure, which is why flat tires are a common problem.

Before you get in the car, also check your wiper blades to make sure there’s no ice on them.

Once you turn on the car, you need to check the dashboard for any unusual lights flashing. Cooper said to consult with the owner’s manual about what they could mean.

With temperatures well below freezing if your car is outside, you can also start your car for a few minutes before driving. Cooper said it is a vital step.

“It’s like waking up the morning and starting your football game right then without a warmup,” he said.

When doing the startup, you would want to be in the car to prevent it from being stolen.

Cooper said these simple steps can help you avoid a costly trip to the auto shop right after the holidays.

“Everyone already spent money on Christmas stuff, so they’re digging deeper into their pockets,” he said.

Experts say car batteries can cost up to $120, a new heater can cost up to $1,000 and each tire can cost up to $200.