Winterize your car for the cold and snow

Preparing your car for the winter

While we make sure to bundle ourselves up during the winter months, it is also important to prepare our cars for what's ahead.

Being stranded on the side of a road in a snowstorm could be miserable and even life-threatening.

It only takes a few steps to get ready for the cold, but it's more than just making sure your car heater is blowing hot air.

Before getting in your car and driving to grandma's house this holiday season, there are a few things under your hood you'll want to check and a trip to an auto store might be inevitable.

Here is what to look for:

Oil. As temperatures drop, oil thickens, so if you don't already know, you may want to check your owner's manual for the recommend winter oil.

Windshield wipers should be replaced each season.

And with windshield wipers, comes washer fluid. It's important to make sure you have enough to clear off the snow. Brands like Rain-X are helpful in snow to avoid the dreadful streaks.

Having the proper antifreeze mix keeps your radiator from freezing.

Also gas line antifreeze/water remover can be added to your gas tank. This prevents the gas line from freezing up.

And don't forget, you always want to see your gas tank half-full in the cold months.

The cost for all these products is less than $30.

But what adds to this bill, are new batteries and tires. An easy way to test the tread on tires is with a penny. If you can see all of Abraham Lincoln's head, it's time to get new tires.

And last but not least, a car battery. A battery should be in tiptop shape for the winter since it has to work harder the lower the temperatures get. You can get it tested at most auto shops.

It's always important to have a bag of necessities in the back of your car, including blankets, gloves, boots, emergency food and water, and an ice scraper.

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