Tips for car safety in bitter cold weather

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N.J. Burkett reports on how cars are being affected by the extreme cold.

Another casualty of the cold, a 12-year-old Honda Civic with a dead battery.

"Cold weather, you know, really does take a toll," said John Tirpan, TNT automotive.

Tirpan of TNT Automotive in New Hyde Park, LI says it is fact of life when the temperature drops.

"We'll put a battery in and check the rest of the charging system," Tirpan said. "Sometimes they're happy that it's just the battery."

Dead batteries are by far the biggest problem facing motorists in brutally cold weather. Experts say if your car's battery is more than five years old, you should consider replacing it before it goes bad.

For many of us, driving in the extreme cold is unavoidable. But even a short trip could be risky if you're not prepared.

"Getting stuck is getting stuck," said Robert Sinclair, AAA Spokesman. "You don't want to be there, especially with the cold."

Sinclair says it makes good sense to plan ahead, like keeping a blanket in your car along with things like an ice scraper and windshield de-icer. Obvious things that many people forget about.

"I sprayed this on last night and it helped to melt any ice that was there," Sinclair said.

He added that today's cars don't need to be warmed up before driving.

"A lot more of our calls these days are for lockouts, people running outside to their vehicle and starting it up, running back inside and a lot of modern cars lock themselves. And so your vehicle's nice and warm but you can't get in," Sinclair said.

That's good advice no matter what the season.

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