The East Islip Community Chamber of Commerce wants to keep you and your car safe for the winter months with some advice from Lee’s Auto Body.

This will be the 105th winter for Lee’s Auto Body. With that much experience, we’d like to share some helpful tips and tricks to make sure Mother Nature doesn’t get the better of you and your car.

Snow removal is important, but so is using the right brush. A shovel or a push broom will work, but it’s pretty much a guarantee that when you wash your car in the spring, you ll wonder how the big scratches got there. Hammers are great for nails, but not for chipping away at ice. (yes, we’ve seen that) Don’t use hot water, that can break glass. Use your heater and be patient.

Wipe door weatherstripping with a little Vaseline to help keep doors from sticking. If your door is frozen shut, don’t pull on your door handle. It’s amazing that a thin film of ice can make your door freeze shut. It’s even more amazing that the plastic door handle that breaks because you pulled so hard can cost hundreds of dollars to replace. See if another door will open, put the heat on, wait and give it another try. Wipe windshield wiper blades with rubbing alcohol to clean them. Use a good winter solution of washer fluid, it is definitely worth spending the extra dollar or two. A great helpful hint…. Remember to shut off your windshield wipers when you park! If you don’t and they freeze to your windshield, the wipers will try to move as soon as you start your car again, and you can damage some of the wiper system parts.

Make sure all your lights are working, and clear of snow. If your headlights are yellowed and faded, it will be tough to see at night. The good news is they may not need to be replaced. Santa had Rudolph and his nose so bright to lead the way, Lee’s is able to restore headlights to help you go on your way.

While we are mentioning (rein) deer, they are all around us, and can’t read. They don’t always cross at the warning signs. They will come out when you least expect them to, and the damage they cause will most certainly cost some doe, and a lot more than a buck. Be extra careful.

Under The Hood:

If your car is a few years old, an important thing to do is to have your cooling system checked. Anti-freeze can turn acidic over time, and that’s bad for head gaskets, heater cores, and lots of other things, like your wallet.

Batteries weaken as it gets colder. Battery terminals need to be checked and cleaned if necessary. Today’s Cars use more electricity and put more strain on the battery.

It’s very important to have your brake lines checked for corrosion. Even if your car is only a few years old, brake lines can rust because of the salt that is put on the roads.

Our local repair shops are all aware of the importance of these things and more, to help you get through the winter months.

Your car has ABS, AWD, 4WD, ADAS, BSW, CAS, FCWS, etc., these are driving aids that are designed to keep you safe. Cars ride and handle better than ever. Driving 30 miles an hour used to feel like 60 miles an hour. With cars of today, it seems like the opposite is true. No matter what your car has, icy conditions make things more treacherous. Your car may stop on a dime, or handle like a slot car on a sunny, warm day, but not on a cold, snowy day. Always remember, nothing can replace common sense.