Surviving the cold: how to protect body, vehicle during winter

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As temperatures decrease, there is an increase in people seeking service to survive the cold.

It’s a busier time of year for local businesses working in medicine and mechanics.

“We generally see a lot more patients this time of year,” said Dr. Richard Boone, MedExpress Southwest Florida Medical Director.

More people show cold and flu symptoms as temperatures drop, but Boone says it’s not the weather making people sick.

“Cold does make your nose run … but it’s more likely that you catch a cold indoors around other people coughing and sneezing,” Boone said. “We tell them to kind of quarantine themselves in a room away from the rest of the kids or elderly people in the family.”

Gary Suffridge, owner of Mom & Pop’s Discount Tires & Auto Repair on Pondella Road, shares advice for keeping vehicles running smoothly during winter weather.

“When our vehicles get cold, the biggest thing we see is mostly loss of air, the cold just zaps it right out,” Suffridge said. “The radiators get clogged, the thermostat gets frozen. When you get cold, seals do have a tendency to shrink up, when they shrink up, that’s when oil leaks.”

Suffridge says there’s one bit of advice all drivers across the state should follow.

“No matter whether you’re up north or down here, you should always let your car warm up. A couple of minutes at least,” Suffridge said. “That way the transmission fluid is circulating properly, the antifreeze, and that way before you take off you notice there’s nothing leaking on the ground.”

To keep your body and car in good shape, experts say routine check-ups will help you catch potential problems early.

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