Auto experts recommend these steps to make sure your car doesn’t freeze up

You heard it last winter, you’re hearing it now and you’ll likely hear it next year: Car care takes on a new meaning during subzero temperatures.

Even so, for those who are new to Minnesota driving — especially during this stretch of dangerously cold temperatures — here are some friendly reminders to stay safe on the road and make sure you can make it to the road.

To start, AAA suggests having at least half a tank of gas at all times. That’s in case you get stranded, but it will also prevent your gas lines from freezing.

Other musts in AAA’s do’s and don’t’s include:

  • Having an emergency kit: snow shovel, ice scraper, jumper cables, flares, a flashlight, warm clothing and blankets
  • Check all fluid levels and tire pressure
  • Have a fully-charged phone
  • Tell someone your planned route
  • Driving carefully and cautiously

AAA suggests avoiding the following:

  • Use cruise control in wintry conditions
  • Starting the car and immediately going — give the engine some time to warm up
  • Speed or tailgate — leave room for error and make sure there is room to stop

As for your fluid, local shops like Hometown Auto Care will check them for free. Owner Michael Blilie says not only should the gas tank be full, but it must be "good gas."

“Bad gas, especially with COVID with people not driving [as much], gas is getting cruddy and doesn’t want to start,” Blilie said.

He also suggests checking your battery’s life — they can do that at Hometown Auto Care, too. And if you have to park your car outside, park it close to a building to protect the engine against wind.