Tips on keeping your car winter-ready
If you're due for a tune-up, have it done before winter really sets in. Winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling.
Have the battery and charging system checked for optimum performance. Cold weather is hard on batteries.
Clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system. As a general rule of thumb, this should be done every two years.
Make sure heaters, defrosters and wipers work properly. As a general rule, wiper blades should be replaced every six months.
Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly.
Have the brakes checked. The braking system is the vehicle's most important safety item.
Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving, when windows are closed.
Check to see that exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly aimed.
Motorists should also keep the gas tank at least half full at all times to decrease the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing.
Stock an emergency kit with an ice scraper and snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, flares, blanket, extra clothes, candles/matches, bottled water, dry food snacks and needed medication.
Winter driving can be hazardous and scary, so following the above tips will help get you through all the cold, ice and snow.