Go Ahead, ask a Stupid Question

By N/A for Life & Beauty Weekly

Step one for getting your car winter-ready is going through a seasonal auto care checklist. Get your brakes checked and buy snow tires if you live in a cold winter climate. Change your oil to a winter blend, replace the radiator fluid with one that has a lower freezing point and get new wiper blades. Cold weather is hard on batteries, and if yours is already running low, that first frigid winter morning could leave you stranded. So get your battery checked — service stations will usually do it for free. If it’s only holding a minimal charge, replace it.

Step two is stocking your vehicle with a cold-weather emergency kit. Chances are you already have the components lying around at home, so it’s just a matter of gathering it together. Pack a first-aid kit if you don’t already keep one in your car, or check the supplies if you do. For winter months, stock your trunk with an ice scraper, shovel, flares, blanket, cell phone charger, tow rope, flashlight, battery-powered radio, booster cables, extra batteries, hats, mittens and socks, energy bars and water. It may seem like a long list, but if you add them at the beginning of the season, you won’t have to think about it again, and you’ll be prepped for nearly any situation.

Finally, don’t stop washing your car. It may sound unnecessary, but keeping your car clean of road salt is essential for preventing rust.

Expert: Keith Buglewicz is an automotive expert and the news director at Automotive.com.

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