MnDOT, mechanics offer advice to motorists ahead of winter weather

Minnesotans are gearing up for what could be a very messy start to the work week as snow begins to fall across the Twin Cities area.

According to experts, one of the most important things to prepare is your car.

Here are some things to remember to check out:

  • Make sure your battery is charged
  • Make sure your tire pressure is perfect
  • Make sure to have a spare tire ready

For people like Jerry Nordin, replacing his batter was an unavoidable task.

“They tested it a while back and they said, hey, we’ll see how it goes. And because it started up so nicely this morning, I was surprised that it all of a sudden went down. Just gone,” he said.

For the hundreds of others that stopped into Bobby and Steve’s in Minneapolis Sunday afternoon, the car check-ups are a sign of what’s to come.

“We’re testing every car’s batteries to make sure they start in the morning,” said Greg Wax, of Bobby and Steve’s.

Batteries, tire pressure and coolant are all important checkpoints for the Bobby and Steve’s crew. People stopped by in droves Sunday, creating wait times of four or five hours.

“Get in right away,” Wax said. “Because you never know. You could be stuck on the highway and then all of a sudden you have a blowout.”

From the men that make sure the cars run, to the crews that make sure those roads stay as clear as they can, it’s all hands on deck.

“We’re going to have crews out all night,” said Kevin Gutknecht, of MnDOT. “We’ve already got crews ready to go.”

Snowplows are ready to hit the road, but MnDOT says the current conditions aren’t exactly adequate for pretreating.

“Pretreating is not a panacea,” Gutknecht said. “It works to a degree, but what often happens is you put the chemical down, the snow hits it and it begins to melt and then it starts to freeze. So, what you’ve done is you’ve created ice.”

Ice, of course, being the very thing everyone is trying to avoid heading into Monday.

At Bobby and Steve’s, they say a lot of newer cars don’t need to idle for very long. He says just get out there and give it a couple minutes and drive easy and your car will warm right up.

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