MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The first few times it snows each winter, auto repair shops get busy.

“The body shops, they love it when it snows, that’s what they do for a living,” said Brad Solem, with Bobby and Steve’s.

And wait times to get your car fixed can be longer than normal, even weeks.

“It does get busier, wait times do get longer,” Solem said. “Just because you see the sheer volume in a short period of time.”

It only takes a little snow to know if your car tires have a big problem.

“The roads were slippery enough where people really found out, ‘Hey, I really need tires.’ We’ve had a very mild winter thus far,” Solem said.

Solem says you should take your car somewhere you feel comfortable if you do get in a crash.

“A lot of people just have no idea because an accident isn’t something that happens every day of the week or even once a year, or maybe even once a decade,” Solem said.

Another idea: Do your research ahead of time. Put the name of an auto body shop or two you’d want to use in your phone. That way, you have it if you need it.

But if your car is winter ready, you will be less likely to get in a crash.

Solem says the No. 1 thing you should do right now is check your tire pressure.

“With the change in temperature that we are going to have, your air pressures will go down,” Solem said. “A lot of people procrastinate about it, but when it’s 25 below, that becomes not a fun task.”

Another thing you really should do is get your car battery tested. Especially with the really cold temperatures we have coming this week, you’ll want to make sure it’s in good shape.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield