Fall is in full swing, the leaves are changing colors, the days are getting shorter and everything, everywhere is pumpkin flavored. Before you know it, the temperature will hit freezing, snow will be falling and Jack Frost will be nipping at your nose. There is no denying that winter is coming and with the changing of the season comes preparation to your home and auto. 

To have the safest driving experience this winter, it’s best to plan ahead. Taking steps now will help diminish the chance of an accident or being stranded on the side of the road. Below are 5 car care tips any driver should be using in the coming weeks to make sure they are prepared for the cold winter months ahead. 

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.) The chance of sliding on patches of ice can be decreased by using tires that are inflated correctly. Tires that have quality tread and are not worn out also decrease the risk of sliding on ice patches. Local shops should stock winter specific tires that are specially designed to cope with wet, slushy and icy road conditions. 

3.) Another aspect that keeps you in control behind the wheel are your brakes. A quick inspection to make sure that your brakes are checked will go a long way this winter. 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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