SIDNEY — The leaves are turning color and falling from the trees. County residents are feeling a drop in the temperature. These are two signs that winter is just around the corner.
“It’s time to get your car ready for winter,” said Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart during his weekly interview.
The battery, said Lenhart, is one of the first things which should be checked. Make sure it’s charging properly. If it’s not working properly, then you’ll have problems down the road.
“Inspect the battery,” said Lenhart. “You can get a tester at a box store or take it to a dealer like NAPA and have them test the batter. You can take to the a filling station, such as Steinke’s in Botkins, to have it tested.
“Or take it back to the dealer where you bought the car,” said Lenhart. “Three years is the normal period of time where you’ll have to replace the battery. Make sure you put the same size battery back into the car.
“If the battery grinds, rolls over and does nothing, then it’s too late to check it,” he said.
Lenhart said the tires and tread should be checked before winter. Make sure the air level in the tires is what the manufacturer recommends.
“Everyone used to put on snow tires in the winter,” said Lenhart. “Those aren’t used as much any more.”
Other items in the vehicle which should be checked, said Lenhart, include:
• The brakes to ensure they are adequate to be driving on the road. Make sure the rotors and drums are in working order.
• Change the oil.
• Examine the coolants, such as antifreeze. “There are testers in the big box stores which sell for $3 to $4,” said Lenhart.
• Test all lights on the vehicle including the turn signals and emergency lights.
• The heating system to make sure it’s working properly.
• Make sure your cell phone is charged and you have a car charger in the vehicle for it.
“You should always have a snow/ice scrapper behind your seat,” said Lenhart.
Lenhart said you should keep a supply of snacks and food, water and blankets in the vehicle in case you do get stranded.
The writer conducts a weekly interview to update readers with news from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, 555 Gearhart Road, Sidney.