They’ve noted people being cautious and taking steps to be ahead of the game.
“Snow tire sales have been pretty brisk this year probably more than ever so I think folks are planning on a tougher winter here with the snow. It was also kind of an odd year with people not driving much before this and the warm weather. Battery sales have been brisk this year. The heat does take some life out of batteries so if your car seems to be starting cranking over a little bit slower, it could be because of a weak battery from the summer heat that we had,” said Gary Lofald, the president of 4th Street Auto Repair.
Lofald said getting tires and batteries checked and replaced if necessary, is crucial to get done now.
“Make sure your tire tread is sufficient for winter driving. Good all season tires work really well on a front wheel drive or four wheel drive vehicles but other folks put snow tires on. It’s just really an assuring feel for them to be able to get around better,” said Lofald.
Lofald said you can use the penny trick to check the tire tread or stopping by your local auto shop so they can measure them up real quick. As far as the battery testing, he recommends to do a load test on the battery to make sure it is good for the winter season.
“Typical battery life here in Duluth is about five years. Some batteries last longer and some fail earlier than that but that’s a pretty average timeframe for batteries here,” said Lofald.
Lofald also said checking wipers, coolant and the heater in your car is just as important.
Marshall Hardware has been selling lots of shovels lately. They bought a variety of them for customers. Co-owner of the store Steve Marshall had some tips on what type of shovel to choose from for the first snowfall.
“The first couple of snows are usually fairly light and sometimes heavier, wet stuff and you’re just pushing off of a bare concrete or blacktop. A nice pusher shovel would be good. As we get more snow and the snow banks come up then you start looking for shovels that are scoop types so you can actually move the snow,” said Marshall.
Ice scrapers, salt and grit have also been big sellers and Marshall said to not wait last minute to stock up on it.
“It’s this time of year where you sometimes get snow and sometimes you get freezing rain so if you have a lot of ice on your sidewalk you’re going to want some of that product to get rid off it,” said Marshall.
Another important thing to do is to check your snow blower and make sure it’s working good.