The cold weather is keeping local auto mechanics busy

CREATED Jan 23, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - This cold snap is taking a toll on cars in the area, and repair shops are backed up.

Local mechanics tell me just keeping up on regular maintenance of your car will help keep it running even in the negative temperatures.

“It's been pretty crazy,” said Dave Hoffman, an auto tech. “A lot of people don't realize how in need their car is of service until it's zero outside, and then they start coming in."

Hoffman says business is up 20-30 percent this week because of the cold snap. Several cars have been towed into his shop.

"With most of the vehicles [the biggest problem we are seeing is] a no-start concern whether it be the battery or other parts of the car that are greatly affected by the cold."

Hoffman has replaced a lot of batteries and starters, something he argues could have been prevented if the owners had just done some simple maintenance.

"Have your vehicle checked out,” said Hoffman. “It doesn't take a whole lot of time."

Hoffman says another tip to prevent problems with your car is to always keep your gas tank full.

“I normally keep my fuel tank at least at half,” he said. “When the temperature goes down you can get moisture in the fuel system and keeping a half full tank kind of dilutes that small amount."

Mechanics said you really should let your car warm up for about five minutes before you take off, even in new cars.