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Get Your Car Winter-Weather Ready in Six Easy Steps

drivinginsnowWinter’s coming! And if this season is anything like last season, you’ll want your vehicle in top shape to handle the ice and snow! Fall car maintenance is key to stress-free driving during the colder months so here are some tips to get your car ready for when the mercury dips below freezing:

1) Be sure to check and maintain proper tire pressure. Cold temperatures cause tires to lose air more quickly during the chillier months. You can find your vehicle’s recommended psi rating on the driver’s side door paneling and/or the owner’s manual.

2) When driving in snow/ice, you’ll need the best traction possible from your tires so check treads for wear and replace them if they show excessive wear. Rotating tires every 5,000 miles also helps them wear more evenly.

3) Consider using a synthetic motor oil. Synthetic oil is recommended over conventional oil for the cold weather as the oil is designed to protect engines in a wide range of temperatures. Although synthetic may cost more initially, it lasts as much as three times longer than conventional oil which translates to 15-24 quarts less oil you will need to replace annually.

4) Fall is a great time to do your vehicle’s annual tune up if you haven’t done so yet. Having your car’s minor problems addressed now can keep them from becoming major issues once freezing temperatures set in.

5) Fill your windshield washer fluid reservoir with a winter cleaning solution that has an antifreeze component — this will prevent the liquid from freezing.

6) Be sure to update your emergency road kit with winter weather necessities including blankets, a snow shovel, an ice scraper with brush, and a bag of salt, cat litter, or traction mats.