Winter Driving Can Take a Toll on Iowa Vehicles

NEWTON, Iowa  --  Yet another winter storm has crossed Iowa, this time leaving behind a coat of ice. But for many Iowans, driving in winter is not optional, and the weather can cause a variety of problems on vehicles.

“We’re busy around here, it really doesn’t matter, cars are driven the same amount of miles no matter what the weather,” said Ryan Riggs, owner of Magnum Automotive in Newton. “That's what's great about them, they’re safer and safer every day and you can go out in more extreme weather.”

Magnum Automotive has been serving Newton for 50 years, with mechanics who have been there for decades. This car shop is never hurting for business, but they were still able to squeeze in some stranded travelers who needed repairs.

“Us being the only AAA-approved repair facility in Jasper County, AAA called us,” said Riggs. “We’re going to get them back on the road back to New York from Nebraska.”

When it comes to winter, vehicles can be impacted in several ways.

“I guess when people think of winter, it’s obviously your batteries and your cooling systems are very important in the winter time,” said Riggs. “Underneath the cars there’s lots and lots of rust and corrosion, we like to use salt and brine out of the back of the DOT trucks, that’s a very corrosive chemical. It works great to get rid of ice, but it’s not real great for the bottom of your car.”

Riggs recommends his customers have him inspect their vehicles twice a year, in the spring and fall. Riggs added that people should choose a mechanic to look at their car even if they’ve had training to know their vehicle. He also said sometimes those mechanics will be more expensive but will be able to fix your problem.