Car doors frozen? Engine won't start? See some cold-weather tips - WSMV Channel 4

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Car doors frozen? Engine won't start? See these cold-weather tips

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

While ice and cold weather left many rural and secondary roads slippery early Monday, the big challenge for many drivers was getting into their vehicles to begin with.

Like a lot of us, Michelle Miller needed a lot of elbow grease to start the day thanks to a thick layer of ice on her windshield in west Nashville.

"I have windshield washer fluid and de-icer, and all that good stuff readily available. But I just kind of try to stay ahead of the weather when possible," Miller said.

Bitter cold left cars covered in ice, and it could happen again early Tuesday.

But the risk, experts say, lies beneath the hood.

If you haven't already, be sure to check your car's battery.

"Without a good connection on a battery, it's not going to start," said Midas service manager Keith Boldus.

Make sure the connections seem tight and clean. If not, with your car turned off, use some steel wool to scrub dirt or bits of rust.

Also, stock up on fluids. Your anti-freeze and washer fluid levels should be full.

And your gas tank should at least be half-full to keep your fuel line from freezing.

"A fuel line will not break open and spill the gas out. It'll just allow the car not to start," Boldus said. "Now, you're going to end up having that car towed into a building - you have a tow bill, you got that expense of just letting the car un-thaw - when it would have been easier just to leave a half a tank of gas in your car."

And if you find that your doors are frozen shut, don't simply yank on the handle or pull from the top of the door.

Your best bet is to either pull on the side or actually try pushing your body against the closed door.

That could help break up the ice that has the door sealed closed, without risking damage to the mechanics of the door lock.

Remember, it is illegal in Nashville to leave your running car unattended. If you need to sit and let the car warm up before heading on your way, be sure you are properly dressed for the cold.

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