How to prepare your car for the cold

SPOKANE, Wash.– It’s about to get really cold across the Inland Northwest. The high for some days this week are in the single digits.

You’re going to want to make sure you take care of your car when the frigid cold hits.

These tips from Auto Trader can help make sure your car stays in good shape.

Maintain your battery

The cold weather can make it harder for your car battery to work. That means a weak battery in the summer could turn into a dead battery in the winter. Auto Trader says you should have a volt test performed on your battery before winter starts to make sure it’s still in good working order. If it’s not, you should buy a new battery when you can so you don’t end up stranded.

Flush and fill coolant

Coolant, or antifreeze, keeps your car’s engine from freezing when the temperatures drop. You’ll want to make sure your car isn’t low on coolant and that there aren’t any leaks that could cause it to drain out.

Stay on top of tire pressure

The cooler weather can cause your tire pressure to drop along with the air temperature. Driving with low tire pressure can mean premature tire wear or potential tread separation, according to Auto Trader. That could lead to a major crash. Plus, cars don’t handle as well with underinflated tires.

Make sure your defrost and heater is working

If you haven’t already, you should check your window defroster and climate control are working. This will not only keep you toasty in your car if you need to go somewhere in the cold, but the defroster will keep your windows from icing and fogging up.

Top off your gas now

The less time you have to spend in the frigid cold, the better. You’ll want to make sure you have enough gas to get you through the next week.

Pack a survival kit

Even if you are super prepared for the cold and follow all the tips to keep your car in tip-top shape, there’s still a chance something could happen that leaves you stranded. You’ll want to make sure you have an emergency kit in your car. We have a list of what you’ll want to pack in that here.

Make sure you have the 4 News Now weather app downloaded so you can know what it’s like outside before you head out.

MORE: What should you keep in your car’s emergency kit this winter

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