By Melanie Speicher -

SIDNEY — Whether we like it or not, “Jack Frost will soon be nipping at our noses.” And with those nips will come snow, snow and more snow.

As the warmer temperatures are winding down for 2019, Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart is offering local residents some tips to prepare their vehicles for the winter weather.

“Winter is right around the corner,” said Lenhart during his weekly interview Tuesday morning. “Is your car ready for winter”

Replacing tires and doing repairs can be costly and many people need to save up money to have the work completed.

“The cot will depend on whether you’re a do-it-yourself person or whether you take your vehicle to the place where you bought it or have the work done in a local garage.”

Lenhart shared a list of “should-dos” before the winter season hits.

ª Change the oil in your vehicle.A lighter oil is normally used during the winter months. Lubrication of the vehicle will be easier with a lower grade of oil, he said.

• Check all coolants and the radiator. “Usually during the summer you use a 50.50 coolant vs water ratio. In the winter its 60/40 with the coolant raising to 60 percent.

• Check your unlocking devises. If your vehicle doesn’t have an automatic unlocking door system and you have to use a key to unlock the door, make sure you use lubricant to keep the lock from freezing.

• Check the car’s battery. “The easiest way to check the battery is to turn on your lights and start the car,” said Lenhart. “If the lights dim while the car is starting, them you might have a weak battery.”

• Check the battery cables and terminals. Clean any corroded materials from the cables and terminals.

• Make sure the washer fluid is the type that can deal with 20 degree below zero temperatures.

• Replace windshield wiper blades.

“Every 30,000 miles check the belts, brakes, wiring and fans, along with anything else under the hood,” said Lenhart.”Cold weather can cause stress on the belts and cause them to break.”

He said you should also make sure the car’s heater and defroster are in working order.

“Law enforcement keeps an eye out for vehicles where the driver had only cleaned off a small spot on their windshield and are driving down the road,” said Lenhart.

Also, he said, check the tire pressure regularly. If the tire pressure goes down, he said, the car’s mileage will also go down.

He also advises drivers to make sure the tread on the vehicle’s tires will get them through the icy and snowy road conditions.

“Some people still put snow tires on their cars,” said Lenhart. “And if you have four-wheel drive, make sure it’s working properly. It’s nice to have on icy and snowy roads.”

Lenhart said keeping the gas tank full will prevent condensation forming inside the tank.

“When you wash and wax your car,” he said. “make sure you wash off the beet juice and snow from the vehicle. That will take a toll on the vehicle. Make sure you spray underneath the vehicle to get rid of the salt from the roads.”

Lenhart said you should also keep an ice scrapper in your car in preparation for the snow and ice.

By Melanie Speicher

The writer conducts a weekly interview to update readers with news from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, 555 Gearhart Road, Sidney.

The writer conducts a weekly interview to update readers with news from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, 555 Gearhart Road, Sidney.