COLUMBIA — Recent snow events can damage cars, and those bills can rack up even after the snow stops.
“If a vehicle sits enough and the battery is low on charge, it can freeze out in the cold weather,” Devin Kelley, owner of All-Star Automotive said. “And once the cold is gone, somebody goes to drive the vehicle and the battery’s not working properly.”
If drivers don’t notice the dying battery symptoms, the dead battery can result in a towing service—which can be costly.
Another issue drivers can run into is scraping or damage underneath their car, which can be hard to see. All-Star Automotive mechanics said to look out for possible sounds when starting up your car after a big snow event. Big chunks of ice or snow can damage that shield underneath, and cause an unusual noise.
This is just some examples of issue All-Star Automotive will continue to see from the cold weather. Kelley said the shop usually sees around 50% preventative care (oil changes, battery checks, etc.) and 50% reaction care (dead batteries, etc.).
In the extreme weather, he said that percentage now looks more 75% to 100% reaction care—people responding to emergency care situations, which hike costs.
Kelley said the end of cold weather means it’s time to get a preventative check.
“It is typically more expensive if something is serviced or repaired once there’s an issue, because you may have to pay for a tow and have a very inconvenient problem with your work or something like that, and then have the expense of the service or repair,” Kelley said. “So it’s just always cheaper to do it preventively.”
Kelley also warned against people checking their own antifreeze in the cold.
“We have a car here who had a part of the cooling system rupture from too much water instead of an antifreeze water mixture and a system in their car rupture,” he said. “If they had preventive maintenance done beforehand, that never would have happened.”
He said this will be large repair and costly to fix issue. Yet another cost of cold weather. The key is getting a vehicle checked preventatively, instead of in reaction to a problem.
All-Star Automotive offers free preventative checks with a routine oil change. Kelley said customers should look to see if their automotive shop takes this necessary step.