Getting your car ready for the cold - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Getting your car ready for the cold

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

Stolen vehicles happen everywhere. Here in the Magic City, we've seen a recent spike in car thefts. Last night we told you about a stolen handicapped van. Today it's back in the possession of its rightful owners.

KULR-8 spoke to Billings Police Lieutenant Neil Lawrence. He says, overall, car thefts are down. This time last year, 646 vehicles were stolen.

So far this year, he says there's been 616 car thefts. Often, people go start their vehicles to warm them up, and when they go back, it's gone. So what can you do to ensure your car is safe while warming up in the driveway?

The cold weather of winter is heading our way. Even though car thefts are down, the remote starters may still make people nervous when warming up your vehicle. To protect your car, sure the steering wheel clubs are one way, an oldie but goodie still, there's other, maybe more safer options.

O'Reilly Store Manager Zack Dudley says you can hide your spare key in a little magnetic box that can stick inside of your car. That way you can start your vehicle, then lock it.

Dudley recommends having a strong battery because the cold will drain its power.  Another option is a blanket battery you can plug in.

"Over night your car stays plugged in, it keeps the coolant in the engine or the oil in the engine warm, or the battery  warm," he said.

Another option, additives, like "Iso Heet," has alcohol in it that absorbs moisture.

Many Montanans have their snow gear and warm clothes ready, but there are some new residents who are experiencing the treasure state for the first time. Like our boss Phil. He's from the deep south, so this is a reminder for first-timers in Montana.

Dudley showed KULR-8 a spray de-icer that helps make scraping ice off your windshield easier, by turning it into slush. Dudley recommends getting snow tires because they'll help you stop faster in snow and icy weather.

"A good quality battery making, sure your feel got no moisture in it, tune up you know just make sure that it's in normal operating conditions," he said.

He adds: a popular item is washer fluid that has a de-icer. He says the cold also makes batteries weak.

Dudley says if your tires get stuck in snow, put sand underneath or use mats with grips.

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