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Is Your Vehicle Ready for Winter?

The winter months can be harsh on vehicles, but there are a few simple checks you can do to make sure your vehicle makes it through the bitter cold.
Winter often brings a blanket of soft powder, but it can also bring ice, making for treacherous roadways. We have yet to see any this winter, but some people are already getting prepared.

"The last week or so we've been pretty busy," said Kenny Critser of Raben Auto Service. There are a few things to check to make sure your vehicle is ready for winter. A good place to start is from the bottom. "Tires is probably going to be the most important, because that's the only thing that keeps between you, and the road," said Critser. Cold weather makes air pressure drop in tires so it's good to check them with a pressure gauge. Don Ross knows about preparing for winter weather, he's from Chicago. "You gotta be prepared. If you're prepared you don't have to worry about it," said Ross. A deep tire tread makes for better traction, and adding weight to the back of a pick-up truck can help too. "Some sandbags in the back sometimes to get a little extra weight especially since it's a pick-up it gets light the in the back end," said Ross.
Fluids can also be affected by the cold. Oil can thicken up, so take the plastic off your owner's manual, and check if a thinner oil is needed. "Another thing is windshield washer. Keeping a good windshield washer in there that won't freeze. They have winter windshield washer fluid that won't freeze and that will help de-ice some of the that ice that comes down on it," say Critser.

You could do all of these checks, but they won't do any good if the battery is compromised by the cold. "It's harder for a battery to turn over a cold engine," said Critser. The average life span of a car battery is 3-5 years, so if you're in that range it might be time for a change.
Experts also recommend to have an emergency kit in your vehicle if you get stranded with things like a blanket, flashlight, and water.
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