Tips to keep your car running smoothly this winter

LAKEWOOD, OH (WOIO) - The cold, snow and salt can do a number on your car.

Thanks to the weather in Northeast Ohio, car mechanics have been extra busy with repairs.

"Once it starts getting cold, everyone starts calling in," said Jerry Knapp, owner at Knapp's Madison Auto and Towing.

Every year, Knapp sees customers come in with broken down cars once the weather turns bitter cold.

Batteries are dead and corroded and engines are working overtime.

"If you ignore it, there's a possibility you could ruin your engine. A lot of people think, oh, it's cold out, my car won't overheat, and it will," Knapp said.

Plenty of people see their tire pressure lights go off in the winter. Before topping off your tires, check the sticker on your driver's side door for the recommended inflation.

"There's air pressure on the door for a reason. That's because it's the proper inflation rate for it. If you put too much, it'll balloon out and then you wear down the center of it. If you have too little, it'll wear down the sides of it," Knapp said.

Drivers also need to make sure their fluid is properly filled, otherwise pipes can burst.

Don't ignore the outside of your car, either. Knapp recommends drivers get a car wash at least once a month, because the salt is brutal in Ohio.

"The salt up here is terrible. A lot of other states use embers and sand and such, but around here what they use is calcium chloride and what it does is it just sits on your frame. That's that white stuff you see on people's frames and underneath on their rims. That's the calcium chloride. What it does is it gets in the metal and it just corrodes it," Knapp said.

In the winter, drivers should also keep their gas tanks at least half full, which helps the fuel lines.

If there's ice coating the windshield, use a scraper rather than using windshield wipers. The ice will damage the blades and it could also break the windshield wiper transmission, which is a couple hundred dollar fix.

Copyright 2017 WOIO. All rights reserved.