MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The bitter blast is wreaking havoc on Minnesotans and their vehicles.

Auto shops are busy with things from basic maintenance to frozen batteries. Mechanics at Bobby and Steve’s in Minneapolis said the extreme cold has them working 10 hour shifts, and the wait time to get something as simple as an oil change is five hours.

The most common issues they’re seeing are with batteries and tires.

Mechanics suggest to keep your battery charged avoid short trips. To keep your tires from going flat, you could consider filling them with nitrogen instead of oxygen.

As far as advice for warming up your car, they do recommend letting it run five to ten minutes, so the oil has a chance to warm up.

They also said it’s good to wash your car occasionally during the winter. However, if you do, make sure the door jams are dry so your door does not freeze.

“Get the undercarriage wash because that’s where a lot of Minnesota cars get rusted, is underneath it. Then in the doorjamb…these areas will get frozen when you go through car washes, so make sure all this are gets dry,” a mechanic at Bobby and Steve’s said.

For those without a garage or lot, it is illegal in the city of Minneapolis to leave your car idling in the street for more than three minutes.

Violators face a $200 fine.

For more information on Minneapolis’ anti-idling law, and exceptions during extreme weather conditions, visit the city of Minneapolis online.

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