Seven tips to prepare your car for winter driving

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FROM slippery driving surfaces to freezing temperatures, winter weather can make driving even more difficult.

Fortunately, there are many not you can take to overwinter your vehicle.

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Windshield wiper condition plays a central role in your ability to maintain winter driving visibilityCredit: Getty
Consider adding an ice scraper to your emergency winter driving supplies if you haven't already.

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Consider adding an ice scraper to your emergency winter driving supplies if you haven’t already.Credit: Getty

Preparation for winter driving should always include a thorough tire evaluation.

Start checking your tires by taking a closer look at their tread.

Tire tread is the pattern of rubber grooves that touch the road. Over time, the tire tread will wear out.

Tires with low or worn tread have less traction, slower acceleration, reduced fuel efficiency and are more susceptible to punctures.

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A tire that has lost all of its tread is called a bald tire.

A penny test will help you see if your tire tread is too low or not.

You can perform a penny test by placing a penny on its side with the Lincon’s head down between the tire tread and the grooves.

If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head on the patch, the tire tread is too low.

Tire rotation, tire balancing, and wheel alignment are three automotive services that will help your tires wear at a steady rate.

Your car’s owner’s manual lists recommendations detailing when these three services should take place.

Winter tires are another option for drivers looking to upgrade their wheels for the months ahead.

Winter tires contain specific rubber compounds that refine handling, stopping and power delivery, KSL reports.

Once you have adjusted your tires, periodically check that they are inflated correctly to reduce their risk of premature wear or blowout.

Servicing your brakes will allow you to get the most out of the remaining life of your tires.

The three most common brake services are replacing brake pads, rotors, and brake fluid.

Most rotors can resurface one or more times, so you don’t have to opt for replacement service right away.

The next time you visit your dealer’s service center or your local independent garage, request a wiper inspection to maintain your driving visibility.

An automotive technician will be able to refill your wiper fluid and install replacement blades if necessary.

You will need a powerful battery to power your lights as the days get shorter during the winter.

Automotive technicians can test your vehicle’s battery to make sure it has enough capacity to power your car’s electrical systems properly and consistently.

If your car’s lights are starting to dim, you’re probably dealing with an aging battery that needs replacing.

All vehicle batteries should be replaced after three to five years of use.

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Drivers looking to go beyond their vehicle’s lights during the winter may consider upgrading to LED or brighter units for increased visibility.

If you encounter a road hazard in the winter, emergency items stowed in the car like gloves, a collapsible shovel, flashlight, blanket, ice scraper, and starter kit can come in handy.

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