Cold Morning Could Stall Your Car

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - The bitter cold could stall your morning commute. And newer cars may be just as vulnerable as older vehicles in this frigid weather. 

Phil Linck is the AAA Senior Service Specialist.  He said the engine blocks in many newer cars are made of aluminum, instead of steel.  And, some drivers try to drive an overheating car as far as they can instead of shutting it off immediately.  Linck said that decision can cause serious damage and cost thousands of dollars.

So, Linck said warming up your car is not an option now that the air temps are in the teens.  It is a must.  Starting the car gets the oil out of the pan and into the engine and gets the coolant system working.

Another reason: he is expecting more calls as some drivers try to turn on their cars after a three-day weekend.  But because of the clear roads, he expects response times to be normal Tuesday morning.

AAA also recommends keeping your phone charged in case you need to call for help.  Linck also says you need to keep a bag with gloves, a neon visibility vest, and reflector cones in case you break down.  He loves his mini butane torch.  He said you can warm up a key, insert it in a frozen lock for 10 seconds, and open the door.  Linck warns that this will damage keys with microchips.

Here are more tips from AAA for keeping your morning drive drama-free.

•    Food
•    Tire Pressure Gauge
•    Fire Extinguisher
•    Flares, Warning Triangles or Reflectors
•    Flashlight with Extra Batteries
•    Heavy Gloves, Jacket, and Hat
•    Jack for Tire Changing
•    Jumper Cables
•    Paper Towels, Pencil and Notebook, Rags
•    Quart of Oil and Coolant (specific to your vehicle)
•    Reflective Sun Shade
•    Snow chains
•    Spare tire or sealant/inflator
•    Umbrella
•    Water

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