At first sign of cold weather, many of us scurry to make sure our home is "winterized." We check over the furnace, replace drafty windows, try on last year's coat and pull out the down comforter.
One more thing we need to double check so we're not left out in the cold is our car.
"The cold winter months can be very hard on your automobile," said Allstate agent Ted Paris.
"If you notice any problem with your automobile, have your mechanic take a look at it now so that you do not end up stranded on a cold winter day."
The following tips from Allstate Insurance Company will help to prepare your automobile for the cold weather:
* Make sure that if your engine is experiencing hard starts, stalling or having other problems that you get it repaired,
* Windshield wiper blades that are not making full contact with the window or that are dried out should be replaced. Also make sure to keep extra washer fluid and an ice scraper in your car,
* Keep a cold weather safety kit in your car that includes gloves, boots, blankets, flares, water and a flashlight,
* Examine your tires for tread life and uneven wearing. Also make sure tires are properly inflated, tires lose a pound of pressure for every 10 degrees the temperature drops,
* Make sure the heater and defroster are properly working in ensure passenger comfort and driver visibility,
* The cooling system should be flushed every two years with a 50-50 mixture of antifreeze and water. Have the level, condition and concentration of the antifreeze mixture checked periodically,
* Have your mechanic check your battery fluid levels, battery posts and cable connectors.
Bad connections can keep your car from starting,
* Brakes should be checked as recommended, but if you are having trouble such as pulsations, noises or longer stopping distances, get a professional to look at it right away, and
* Make sure all lights and bulbs are in working order and replace any burned out bulbs.