Jim Wells has owned Grand Avenue Parts in Norwood for the last 33 years. He’s got the inventory to help owners of all sorts of vehicles, from vintage to modern. Now, he’s reminding all in the area to prepare for the cold season.
According to Wells, car owners should start with the basics. That means making sure a car has antifreeze in it that is good to 40 degrees-below-zero. Wells said that is quite important for the local area.
“You never know when we’ll get a real cold snap,” he said. “Most new cars come right from the factory with that, but if you have an older car, you need to check it out.”
Wells also said it’s important to ensure that the windshield washer fluid is topped off with the type that is good to 25 degrees-below-zero. He said owners should test their vehicles to make sure the sprayer works correctly.
Checking the windshield wiper blades is also recommended.
Grand Avenue Parts, he said, has most anything people need for winterizing their cars.
Additionally, folks should check — if they haven’t already — to make sure their vehicle’s heater is operating correctly. Wells said to turn that on, as well as the defroster, for a test.
Tires are crucial. He said these days, many people are choosing to go with all-season tires, especially on their four-wheel-drive pick-up trucks and SUVs. Still, it’s worth checking the tread on all-season tires to make sure that is still good.
“It’s not a bad idea to have chains, though, in the vehicle,” he said. “Most four-wheel-drive people don’t carry them, but if you have a two-wheel drive, make sure you have chains.”
Getting an oil change now is something to also consider. Wells said a car with clean, fresh oil starts more easily in the winter season.
For basic winter safety, especially for those who commute or who will be traveling, there are some items to keep stored in the vehicle. Wells said a flashlight and a blanket are good things to keep in the trunk for emergencies. Jumper cables aren’t a bad idea either.
“Some people include (cables) in the tools they keep in their car. It’s not a primary thing, but to cover all the bases, a small set of tools is not a bad idea,” he said.
Over the years, Wells has helped a lot of people in the region with their car needs. Some longtime members of the community might remember that the car parts business started in what is now Black Bear Trading company. Later, Grand Avenue Parts moved to the top of Norwood Hill.
“We have kept moving into a little bit bigger space,” Wells said.
Anyone with questions on winter weatherizing or other car issues is welcome to speak with Wells, or one of his employees. Grand Avenue Parts is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. The shop is closed on Sundays.
Wells said he agrees that winter maintenance is something Norwood residents have to think about for several months. The local cold season is a long one.
“Through March — It can be really cold until then,” he said. “And it seems like we get a big storm around Thanksgiving too.”