EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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October 22, 2013

8 tips for 'winterizing' your ride

Some regions of the U.S. have already experiencing their first snowfall of the year, which means it's time to start thinking about prepping cars for cold weather and treacherous road conditions.

Meineke Car Care Centers has compiled a list of tips and recommendations for "winterizing" your vehicle, including this checklist:

  • Prepare a car kit
  • Check your air filter and belts and hoses
  • Replace all vital fluids and check wipers
  • Check and change your oil
  • Check anti-freeze levels
  • Check your battery power and lights
  • Check and maintain your tire pressure
  • Check your brakes

"It's never too early to get your car ready for winter," says Jason Moskal, Meineke's senior vice president and chief marketing officer. "Starting now and keeping your maintenance up to date will keep you on the road and help prevent more extensive repairs later in the season."

According to Meineke, a properly packed car kit is important to ensuring drivers are prepared for a number of winter weather emergencies. An emergency car kit should including the following:

1. A spare tire and tools to change it

2. Bottles of engine oil, washer fluid and coolant

3. Tow and tire chains

4. Flashlights and flares

5. Ice scraper, snow brush and shovel

6. Extra pair of gloves and waterproof boots

7. Matches or a lighter

8. Blankets and other cold or wet weather gear

9. Bottled water and protein bars or other non-perishable foods

10. First aid kit

11. Bag of rock salt or cat litter for traction on icy or muddy roads

12. Transistor radio and extra batteries for accessing traffic and weather broadcasts about weather conditions as well as alternate routes.

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