Local mechanics have been kept busy this week, with the extreme cold giving many locals car troubles.

Engine and battery troubles are very common, with colder temperatures taking a toll on both.

Fountain Tire Okotoks Manager Dean White says it's always good to have a set of booster cables ready, but if you do have to break them out, make sure you know how to use them.

"Something we've seen over the years is someone putting battery cables on backwards and damaging the computer on a vehicle. That'd be very costly. If somebody doesn't have experience with using booster cables, I would probably not do it."

Plugging vehicles in ahead of a commute is a good way to help get things going, though White says that can go awry too.

"Plug it in, but I recommend leaving a note for yourself or putting it strategically that you can see it so you don't take off in the morning to go to work, leave the cord hooked onto it, and rip off your block heater cord. We see that every year. It happens, right? Sometimes you just forget!"

White says you should be keeping your eye on your tires too.

"When it's this cold, we see a lot of leaks between the tire and the rim. What happens is, basically, everything starts to shrink up and contract, and it gets some air loss between the tire and the rim."

He says the common solution is removing the tire from the rim and applying a sealer to stop any leaks.

If the problem does start to arise, White says you'll want to get well ahead of it if possible, as many outdoor air pumps freeze up in the winter.


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