Labor Day weekend has come and gone and while that may only be the unofficial end to summer, it doesn’t mean car owners shouldn’t be looking ahead to the future. The calendar may still say summer but winter is right around the corner. Freezing temperatures can bring small auto problems to the forefront and exacerbate a small issue into a huge problem.

So before the temperature starts to drop, it’s a good idea for vehicle owners to do a winter weather vehicle check. The last thing any motorist wants is to be left stranded on the side of the road or alone in a parking lot because their vehicle decided to check out. While there are numerous steps one can take as a precaution we have highlighted five of the easiest and most crucial which should help you skate through the winter months without any major issues. 

1.) Cold weather is especially hard on batteries. Have your battery and charging system checked and if there is a problem, get them replaced immediately. 

2.) Check your tires! Tires that are under-inflated or have worn tread increase the risk of sliding on ice patches. Local shops should also stock winter specific tires that are specially designed to cope with wet, slushy and icy road conditions. 

3.) Speaking of sliding on ice, make sure that your brakes are checked. Worn brake pads and other dilapidated brake parts can mean the difference between stopping safely and sliding into the car in front of you. 

4.) Make sure your defrosters and wipers are in good condition and working properly. Visibility decreases during snow storms and their aftermath. Put the odds in your favor by purchasing new wiper blades, making sure your defrosters work properly and even purchasing winter weather washer fluid. 

5.) Pack an emergency road side kit that includes warm clothes, blankets, ice scrapers, flashlights, flares, medication and dried food like granola bars. If you do get stuck, it’s best to have these things on hand because chances are if you get stuck in a snow storm, you’re not the only one. Tow trucks and emergency responders might not be able to make it to you in a timely fashion so having basic survival gear handy will help keep your small car trouble from turning into a major life-threatening issue. 

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