What you need to know about winterizing your car

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(NEWS10) — It’s that time of year again. Fall is nearing its end and chillier temperatures have begun.

The NEWS10 Storm Tracker weather team is forecasting the potential of some rain and snow showers Thursday and Friday morning.

Ahead of the potential snow, it’s time to get your car winterized.

Jim Quirk is a mechanic at Shep’s Auto Repair in Mechanicville, he says it’s important for drivers to get their cars checked ahead of time so they’re prepared when the snow and ice hit.

“Checking your battery, tires and antifreeze levels are among the most important things you could do,” Quirk said.

  • Checking the battery: You want to make sure that the battery is good and charged, he said. Greenish powder-like corrosion can form around the terminals and drain the battery. Ensure the terminals are clean and the battery level is strong.
  • Checking the tires: You want to make sure the tires have plenty of tread on them to drive through the snow without an issue. Every tire has “wear bars” that run across the tread, when the tires get down to the wear bar they are not considered safe to drive on the road because at that point the driver is sacrificing traction. To know if you have enough tread on your tires, try the Penny Test.
  • Checking anti-freeze levels: Another major thing to check is antifreeze levels. The antifreeze reservoir has a mark to indicate where the level should be. If the level is not where it should be, Quirk suggests taking the car to a mechanic or waiting until the car has cooled down before adding more antifreeze. The reservoir is a pressurized system so if its hot the antifreeze could spray out and injure you.

In addition to checking the battery, tires and antifreeze level, you should keep a couple of items in your car in case of emergency.

According to a report published by Business Insider, the top twelve items to keep in your car during the winter are a shovel, extra coat, cat litter, snow scraper, jumper cables, a gas can, a spare tire, a first aid kit, an air compressor, a basic tool kit and an external battery for your phone.

Keeping those items in hand can help protect you in case of an emergency. Remember, for the latest forecast, you can always visit news10.com/weather.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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