EUGENE, Ore. -- With the holiday season rapidly approaching, the usual northwest weather is also on the horizon.
The cold Oregon weather can create problems for your car, however there are plenty of ways to winterize and make sure you aren’t hit by the seasonal changes.
It’s always best to start with the basics. The heavy rains that set in during fall and winter can make for some slippery roadways. To make sure your tires have enough traction, use a penny to check the depth of your tire treads. If you can see Lincoln’s face after placing the penny head-first into the tread, it might be time to replace the tire.
If your winter travel plans take you into the snow, make sure you also know how to handle your tire chains.
"Particularly if they're going over the Cascade Summit or over the Cascade Mountains,” said Sgt. Steve French with the Lane County Sheriff’s Office. “It's important that people make sure their vehicle is ready to travel those kind of distances."
Frosty temperatures can wreak havoc on your car’s fluids, so it is always a good idea to make sure you are topped off with antifreeze before the season sets in.
Ron Steury, a service manager at Kiefer Mazda, said that checking fluids are the easiest way to avoid some expensive repairs down the road.
“Right before winter hits, this time of year, it's a great time to pop your hood just to take a look at things. You never know you could have a varmint living in there,” Steury said.
Just like humans, rodents look for a warm spot to cuddle up during the winter months. Steury said he’s seen rodents try to use radiators to stay warm.
"Pretty soon they get bored, and then they find all of these nice little wires in here and start chewing on them. Believe it or not, that's not a good thing,” said Steury. "Take a box of Irish Spring, put it some place where it can stay somewhat dry (in your engine compartment). We've actually noticed a decrease in rodents."
Winter can also put an extra strain on the battery through the increased use of headlights, heaters and windshield wipers. Steury says that there can be some battery issues that are also related to corrosion.
"If you're a Coca-Cola drinker, go down and by a can of soda. I would recommend, at least once a year, dump a can of Coke on there."