Interlock devices are installed in about 150,000 cars of drivers with multiple drinking and driving convictions in the United States. The devices work by pushing a button and submitting a breath sample to determine if the driver is free from alcohol in order to allow the car to start. While they can withstand a wide range of temperature fluctuations, extreme temperatures can affect their ability to work properly. Here are four tips for taking care of your ignition interlock device during the winter:
- Check Your Battery
Before the cold weather hits, get your car battery tested to make sure it will stay charged during extreme weather. Have a mechanic check out all the systems in your car to prevent any problems from surfacing. You’ll also want to make sure your alternator is in excellent condition.
- Insulate The Interlock Device
During extremely cold temperatures, provide the device with a protective insulating barrier. You can wrap it in things like a thick towel, sock, or glove to keep it warm. Turn it upside down and store it in your console or cup holder to keep excess moisture from collecting. Make sure to keep it away from dirt and off the floor.
- Give The Device Some Warm-Up Time
You can heat up interlock devices by blowing warm air into them about three or four times before activation. Give it a few minutes to wake up before providing your sample. Multiple heaters inside the QuickStart Ignition Interlock device will also help decrease the amount of time it will take to get warm. Taking the mouthpiece inside with you can prevent condensation from forming and causing issues.
- Provide a Barrier For Your Windshield
Use a frost guard or sheet to provide a barrier for your windshield during the night. This will help keep snow and ice from accumulating. Your car can then warm up faster. You should also park your car inside a garage or carport if you want to protect it from cold winds. During the day, point the front of your car towards the sun to help keep your car warm.
Interlock devices may take a bit of extra care during extreme temperatures. You can prevent ignition interlock malfunction by keeping up with regular maintenance and following the four tips. If you do experience any issues, contact one of the ignition interlock companies in your area for assistance.