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      Keep your cars and electronics safe from the cold

      As the cold begins to creep into our area, experts are advising us to act now to prepare our vehicles for the wintry weather ahead.

      According to John Nottestad, a store manager at Mason Tire and Auto in Pawleys Island, there are three primary parts of a vehicle that people should have checked by a professional before the cold kicks in full force: tire pressure, the battery, and the antifreeze in the car.

      Nottestad said these simple tune-ups don't take a lot of money or time if checked early and before the problem occurs.

      Making sure the car you're driving is secure and safe is important. However, taking the time to take care of things inside your car is equally as critical.

      Since many people constantly carry GPS units, smart phones, iPods, iPads, laptops, and other electronics with them in their cars, it's important that people take care of those valuable possessions when the weather gets colder.

      Laptops and other tablets like iPads are the most sensitive to cold, and/or fluctuating temperatures, because the design of the technology, which let's more air in and out, according to Chris Tyndall, a supervisor at Best Buy.

      Tyndall said smart phones are also relatively sensitive to the cold if they are left in the car for extended periods of time.

      "That could cause problems with the internal batteries that are inside of them by shortening the life. Or with the LCD screens. They are liquid crystal. They can freeze if you leave it on your seat."

      Putting a case on your cell phone will prevent the cold from damaging the devise as easily, Tyndall said.

      GPS units are some of the most cold-resistant technologies, Tyndall added, because they are more tempered and sealed than most devices.

      Ultimately, the best way to keep your electronics fully-functional is to bring them indoors when the temperatures are below freezing.

      In addition, following manual instructions and or going to seek help from technology professionals may provide additional guidance about what temperatures are appropriate for your device to operate at.