Fairfield County Prepares for Old Man Winter's Double Down

This story was written by DJ McAneny

As Fairfield County prepares for a Monday night and Tuesday morning during which temperatures are expected to sip below zero by the double digits thanks to wind chill factors, area vehicle maintenance experts are warning residents to do what they can to prepare their cars for an easier morning.

"First, make sure you're using dry gas," said Art Kean, owner of the New Canaan Kean's Corner Mobile at 16 South Avenue. "If you can avoid it and aren't parked on a hill, don't put your handbrake on, the metallic pads can freeze to the rotor."

Frigid temperatures can wreak all kinds of havoc on vehicles when they drop as low as Monday night is expected to bring. With a chance of snow showers after 10 p.m., Monday night will see lows around 6 degrees with wind chills pushing it down to minus-14 and gusts of up to 44 mph. During the day Tuesday, things won't get much better, with a predicted minus-15 degrees.

"You'll want fuel conditioner if you're driving a diesel car," said Ranjit Singh of Shippan Point Convenience along Stamford's Magee Avenue. "And probably pick up a can of fuel system cleaner."

Sometimes, when dealing with the weather and vehicle maintenance, the most obvious choice turns out to be the best one, according to Lenny Fugaro, owner of the New Canaan Gulf at 36 South Avenue.

"If you can, keep 'em inside a garage," Fugaro said. "Make sure you have some anti-freeze, make sure you've got washer fluid. There are no great safeguards. If your battery's feeling weak, bring it in and we'll give it a check for free."

If you live in a safe neighborhood and you feel comfortable doing so, Kean even suggested possibly leaving your car unlocked for the night.

"Maybe don't lock your doors," he said. "The locks can freeze. You might even bust your key off in the door. And make sure you have a full tank of gas so if there's any water in there, it doesn't have a chance to freeze."


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