The Car Care Council recommends the following steps for winterizing your vehicle:
TUNE UP TIME - Winter weather makes things worse, so problems you alre already having like, hard starts, rough idling and poor performance, will just get worse. Take care of things before it becomes crucial.
BATTERY - Cold weather is hard on batteries. Now is the time to make sure it is in good shape
FLUSH ANTIFREEZE - Clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system. As a general rule of thumb, this should be done every two years.
CHECK OVER - Make sure heaters, defrosters and wipers work properly. Consider winter wiper blades and use cold weather washer fluid. As a general rule, wiper blades should be replaced every six months.
TIRES - Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure, and change from three season to Winter Tires. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly.
BRAKES - The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item. Have brake pads, rotors, calipers, emergency brake systems and ABS checked
EXHAUST - Check for carbon monoxide leaks. This is especially important in dealing with older vehicles where frame corrosion can be an issue, and in all cars when windows are less likely to be open.
LIGHTS - Headlights that are properly aimed and working are especially cruicial in dark winter months, but making sure all lights inside and outside are working well is also important.
OIL CHANGE - It is always important to have regular oil changes, but winter effects make this especially important. Make sure you check your air, fuel and transmission filters too and consider "winter weight" oil for extra engine protection.
OTHER HOT TIPS FROM THE CAR CARE COUNCIL: "Motorists should also keep the gas tank at least half full at all times to decrease the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing. Drivers should check the tire pressure of the spare in the trunk and stock an emergency kit with an ice scraper and snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, flares, blanket, extra clothes, candles/matches, bottled water, dry food snacks and needed medication."