Some simple seasonal auto service can keep your wheels moving. Joe’s Slinger Service offers these winterizing tips for drivers:

  • Check antifreeze.

    Cooling-system failure is the No. 1 cause of engine related breakdowns. Maintain a 50/50 ratio of antifreeze to water, and flush antifreeze at the manufacturer recommended intervals, typically every two years.

  • Replace wiper blades.

    Replace windshield wiper blades twice a year, and fill windshield washer tank with freeze-resistant solution (water and standard washer fluid freezes).

  • Check car battery.

    If your battery is more than three-years-old, have a technician check its capacity. Ask to test the alternator, and make sure battery terminal ends are corrosion-free.

  • Check tire pressure.

    Cold weather causes tires to contract and pressure to drop, so it’s best to check pressure when tires are cool. Set the tire pressure according to your manual’s specific recommendations.

  • Check tire treads.

    Look at the tread depth on your tires. Put a penny headfirst between the treads. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s hair, it’s time to replace the tire.

  • Check spare tire.

    Make sure it has proper air pressure, tread depth, and all tire-changing equipment is in the vehicle.

  • Make sure lights, heater and defrosters work properly.
  • Check rubber hoses and belts for damage.

    Coolant hoses wear from the inside-out, so have a professional inspect all hoses and check for cracks or chunking in the belts.

  • Get brake system checked.

    If you haven’t had the system inspected in the last six months, be sure to do so before you hit the road.

  • Put together a winter emergency kit.

    Include: a blanket, extra boots and gloves, ice scraper, windshield washer fluid, jumper cables, first-aid kit, flares, small snow shovel, flashlight, bottled water, and kitty litter (creates traction when stuck in snow). Keep kit in the trunk in case of emergency.