The easy temperatures of fall are coming to a close with the harsh winds of winter soon coming around. This coupled with the snow and ice of the season can make for some difficult conditions, especially for your vehicle. Take the necessary preparations before winter comes around to better protect your car, and subsequently your family.

Check the Tires

As you drive, your tires will begin to wear, the tread losing function over time. Not only is important to get your tires rotated on a regular basis, it is also critical to get new ones when the old are bald. It becomes even more important than ever to have good tires during the winter months when ice and snow can cause slippery conditions. Consider investing in a set of snow tires if you live in an area with heavy snowfall as this will help you gain more traction on the road.

Change the Oil

A change in the weather can mean trouble for the engine of your car. The freezing temperatures can influence the consistency of the oil, causing it to thicken. This will prevent the oil from lubricating the engine as it usually does, damaging the engine itself. Before selecting the oil to use, check the owners manual of your vehicle to ensure you get the right viscosity.

Wiper Blades

These are especially important if you live in an area that sees a high amount of snowfall. Ensure your wiper blades are in proper working order, and that you are full on wiper fluid, one that contains antifreeze. During the winter, it may also be wise to invest in winter wiper blades, which are more effective at protecting your windshield from the weather elements of winter.

Tune Up

It’s always smart to take your car in to your mechanic before temperatures drop too far. This tune up can be the best way to detect and fix small problems that can easily turn into large scale disasters. Attend to these things before they leave you stranded in the cold. Ask your mechanic to pay special attention to the belts and hoses which can take a big hit from the cold, becoming brittle and in some cases even breaking.

Make sure you are prepared in every way possible for winter. In addition to these check ups and changes related to the vehicle, you should always keep on hand an ice scraper, gloves, tire chains, and road salt in case you get in a difficult situation. Do this as soon as possible to make the rest of the winter more manageable.