Winter is on its way! If you haven’t thought about how to prepare your vehicle for the changing temperatures and road conditions, now is the time to start!

Winter Tires: Quality winter tires are essential to staying safe in snowy or icy conditions. If you have winter tires from last year, check the condition to ensure they are still ready to perform. If you do not have winter tires, start researching a set for your vehicle.

Battery for Cold Mornings: Winters in the Northeast can be brutally cold, and this can take a toll on your vehicle’s battery. If your battery is between three and five years old, it may be time to replace it. A trusted mechanic will be of great help in deciding which battery to choose, but if you buy your own, the Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) rating is important. The higher the number, the better the battery will perform in cold weather.

Use Caution: Drive slowly and carefully when you don’t know the roads or the conditions – black ice is possible even when the temperature is just above freezing.

Drive Defensively: Winter or not, watching your own driving is only half of the battle – other drivers’ actions can directly affect you. Keep an eye on your surroundings, especially in winter weather conditions, to help prevent your involvement in other drivers’ mistakes.

Lights ON: This should go unsaid, but as you should in the rain, you should use your vehicle’s lights when driving in any type of precipitation. This will not only help improve the visibility of the road for you, but it will alert drivers on both sides of the road to your location.

Heating System: Making sure that your vehicle’s heat functions properly is an absolute necessity for the cold weather. You’ll need your defroster to see and you’ll need your heat to stay comfortable.

Winter-Proof Fluids: Antifreeze and cold weather-rated windshield washer fluid are necessities for the winter. Antifreeze keeps your engine coolant from freezing and windshield washer fluid that is rated for cold temperatures (most are) can help keep your windshield clear of sleet, snow and ice. Pro tip: never use hot water to defrost your windshield!

Winter Tools: Keep a snow brush and an ice scraper in your vehicle at all times. You never know when Mother Nature will strike!

We hope you enjoy this New York Winter! Make a snow angel, build a snowman, watch the snow fall outside your window, and remember Spring is just a few months away!