Snow and cold temperatures are in the forecast. Don't forget to winterize your car. It could be expensive if you don't. 

October is car care month. Harsh winter weather and hazardous driving conditions will be here before you know it. Here are ten tips to help you stay safe and avoid breakdowns.

  1. Lights- Winter brings darker driving conditions so make sure your interior and exterior lights are working properly.
  2. Wiper Blades- If your wipers are worn they won't keep up with the winter conditions. Wiper blades only last about six months, and with the winters we experience it's worth it to purchase winter blades.
  3. Windshield Washer Fluid- Check the reservoir frequently and don't forget to use washer fluid with antifreeze protection.
  4. Engine Oil- Change your oil and oil filter using whatever the manufacturer suggests for the colder temperature this time of year.
  5. Antifreeze- Check your owners manual to see how often you should have your system flushed and refilled with fresh coolant. During the cold weather, the radiator should be full, and the coolant level in the remote reservoir should be at or above the cold level marking.
  6. Brake Fluid- Check your brake fluid. If it has fallen below the low mark, it could mean you have a leak in the system or worse.
  7. Winter Tires- Got your studded snow tires on? In NYS, it's legal from October 16 through April 30. Good tires with sufficient tread depth can be a lifesaver on wet or snowy roads.
  8. Tire Pressure- Cold air can cause your tires to under inflate so check them every month, and don't forget the spare.
  9. Battery- The battery's cranking power is reduced during freezing temperatures.  It's not a bad idea to have a professional check this once a year.
  10. Emergency Kit- This is one of those things that you don't think about until it's too late. Then you'll wish you didn't leave home without one. Store a few blankets, hat, gloves, and boots in your car. Include a shovel, rock salt or kitty litter, flashlights, energy snacks, hand warmers, first aid kit and anything else you think you might need if you get stuck. [H/T AAA]

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