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Preparing your homes and cars before the cold weather arrives

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - “It could be anything from just a few dollars repairs to thousands of dollars of repairs,” said Tim Adams.

Adams owns Mr. Handyman in Virginia Beach. He's talking about the costs if you don’t take action now.

“An example of a window not being closed all the way. From the inside it sort of looks like it is, but from the outside you can see that it's up about half an inch,” Adams adds.

He says making sure your windows are properly shut will help keep the cold air out and the electric bill down. And if you don’t already have sealing gaps around your door, he says get them now.

“You want your door to be solid weather stripping, continuous on all three sides,” he adds,

The pipes in your home also have the potential to freeze in the cold weather, which can cause an expensive mess. Adams says it’s best to let your faucets in the kitchen and bathroom drip a little.

While you’re outside your home, make sure things like your hoses are drained. It’s probably also a good idea to make sure your car is in good shape for the winter weather.

“This is the perfect example of what I’m saying; it’s just a little low,” Foster Freeman demonstrates.

Freeman is the owner of Auto Shop VB. He’s referring to the antifreeze in your car.

“If you don’t have antifreeze or if your antifreeze is diluted - which a lot of people will do and they just throw water in there, which is the worst thing you can do because then it will end up costing an engine,” he adds.

And always make sure your car is warmed up before getting on the road.

“When you start them up cold like that and just run, it just puts more wear on the vehicle,” said Freeman.

When the snow starts to hit the ground, Freeman says it’s important that your car has the right tires.

“Even though you might think that’s a good tire, that’s not a good winter tire," he says. "The winter tires, they are made... it's just the way the cuts are in the tires they are made to shoot ice and stuff out of your tire.”

If using conventional tires, make sure they have enough tread and are full of air.

“We want to make sure there’s at least 30 pounds. Typical air pressure runs between 30 and 35 pounds," said Dan Hersey, with AAA Car Care Center on N. Great Neck Road.

Hersey also says to check the battery for proper voltage and that there isn't any corrosion.

"If you come in and you’ve got a big blue fur ball on it, you know it’s corrosion and we need to do something. We have to clean it up. What happens is if your battery’s not making a good connection to this table…it’s not gonna start," he said.

And check your lights to make sure they're working too. Not only headlights, but lights on the side of your car and tag light bulbs that illuminate your license plate.

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