Single digit temperatures could damage your car

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YORK TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- Temperatures are dropping into the single digits, and the winds will continue.

It could feel anywhere between -15 and -20 degrees outside, and many people call it brutally cold.

If you're like Lynne Strayer, it's not your favorite time of year.

"This is really nasty weather. It's hard on people," said Lynne Strayer, who needed some oil from Advance Auto Parts in York Township.

At Advance Auto Parts on Queen Street, employees say it's also hard on your vehicle.

"75 percent of all engine wear occurs when the car is cold," said Ian Fitzhugh, a Parts Pro.

As drivers weather this brutal cold, he has a few recommendations.

"You should really pay attention to the car's fluids, especially oil. The colder it gets the harder the engine it has to work to heat up," explained Fitzhugh.

Fitzhugh also recommends letting your car sit for at least a minute before driving in the cold.

He says diesel engines need a little longer... 3 to 4 minutes.

When it's cold, he says avoid taking short drives; longer rides are better on your car's battery.

It doesn't hurt to buy new spark plugs too.

"You'll have a more direct precise spark, and it will allow the vehicle to have better combustion, better cold weather gas mileage," added Fitzhugh.

So what about your tires?

When it's cold, your tires will lose pressure faster than if it were warm outside.

You can keep tabs on that with a tire pressure gauge; they cost about $2.00.

"Contrary to popular belief, if you let air out of your tires, you will not get better traction," added Fitzhugh.

Losing that control is what many drivers, like Strayer, fear when it comes to freezing temperatures.

"My biggest thing is if I have to go out in an emergency with the tricky black ice, things like that, being very careful, because I live where the hills go up and down and sideways, it's not flat!" exclaimed Strayer.

Fitzhugh says the salt on the road can cause your car to rust over time... wash your vehicle whenever possible.

Accuweather has more on how the cold can damage your car. For that information, click here.

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