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Local Mechanic Shops Weigh in on Prepping Cars for the Winter

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: November 15, 2019 10:42 PM

The recent change in weather has folks bringing their cars in to get ready for winter and mechanics suggest you get it done sooner, rather than later.

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It's a very busy time of the year for car shops. Gary Lofald of Duluth has been running his shop called 4th Street Auto Repair for 40 years. He said it's been nonstop work lately, making sure cars are winter safe.

"We bring them in for what we call a winterized check and do a lube oil filter service, check all the fluid levels, tires and wipers washers," said Lofald.

Lofald said it's important to make sure lights and heaters are ready for the cold weather that's ahead.

"The biggest thing we see is worn tires. Folks struggle trying to get up and down the hills here with the tires that are over halfway worn and just can't get up the hills. We've got a pile of snow tires out there to put on. We're out about three weeks on our schedules and are very blessed to be that busy," said Lofald.

Lofald said that people should make sure their car batteries are in good condition and get the coolant checked.

"Make sure your coolant protection is good. We check here for 30 to 35 below. If it seems like the car is not starting quite properly for you, extended cranking time, or turning over slower than normal, you probably got a battery that's getting weaker and starting to fail," said Lofald.

Meanwhile at Discount Tire on Central Entrance, costumers and tires are piling up. Rebecca Mcallister drove all the way from Grand Marais to get her snow tires on. She said the mechanic shops in her area were booked.

"There were no appointments available. They were booked out until late December in most places so at Discount Tire they were able to take me in at least but I might be here all day waiting," said Mcallister.

Although it'll be a long day for her, Mcallister said it's well worth it.

"Snow tires are essential if you want to be safe. I have three small kids and I'm driving an hour or two from town when I go. Visitors that come up go off the road constantly when they're not prepared with snow tires," said Mcallister.

Mechanic shop owners emphasize to book an appointment with them soon and be patient.

"We realize a lot of shops are busy and everybody’s trying their best to get things in. This early winter season I think people got a little bit off guard but we've been winterizing cars for about the last month," said Lofald.

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Alejandra Palacios

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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