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HomeNewsTennessee Consumer Affairs says avoid the Hassle of Vehicle Damage this Winter

Tennessee Consumer Affairs says avoid the Hassle of Vehicle Damage this Winter

Tennessee Division of Consumer AffairsNashville, TN – The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance’s (TDCI) Division of Consumer Affairs encourages consumers to plan ahead to avoid automotive damage that could result in costly repairs and sometimes difficult transactions with certain repair companies.

“The freezing temperatures, icy roads, and storm debris associated with winter weather can often lead to vehicle damage,” TDCI Deputy Commissioner Bill Giannini said. “Tennessee consumers can help themselves by planning ahead in order to avoid costly and time-consuming trips to repair shops.”

Tennessee Consumer Affairs advises consumers to plan ahead to avoid costly automotive repairs due to winter weather.
Tennessee Consumer Affairs advises consumers to plan ahead to avoid costly automotive repairs due to winter weather.

In 2015, the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs received at least 190 complaints related to unfair or deceptive business practices by automotive repair companies.

These simple tips can help prevent winter weather damage to your vehicle:

  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface.
  • Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
  • Have your battery professionally tested at a service station or auto parts store. A tired battery may just need to be charged. But, if it’s defective or just worn out, it’s best to replace it before it goes completely dead. Cold temperatures reduce its cranking power. In fact, at about 0° F, a battery has only about half the cranking power it has at 80° F.
  • Replace wiper blades. If you park outside, place the wipers in the raised position to prevent them from freezing to the windshield overnight.
  • Keep a roadside emergency kit in the car.
  • Check that all the vehicle’s lights are working properly to ensure that you will have optimum visibility at night and motorists, front and rear, will be able to see you.
  • If you experience damage to your vehicle, call the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs at 800.342.8385 before requesting service from an automotive repair company. The Division can check to see if complaints have been filed against that company.

For more consumer tips, or to file a complaint against an automotive repair company, visit www.tn.gov/consumer

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