Winter can be hard on your car. As the temperature starts to drop, so does the chances of your car running properly. It is important to take steps to ensure that your car is up for the challenge. Depending on where you live, the best time to do this is between September and November.

Here are 4 easy ways to prepare your car for winter. These tips will ensure that your car will be running well and prevent breakdowns.

Maintenance check-up

It is a good idea to take your car to a mechanic to ensure that your car is in tip top shape. During your appointment, a mechanic will check your car’s various parts and systems, including the fluids to ensure that everything is in good working order.

Battery test

Battery capacity decreases in the cold weather. That means your car battery is prone to failure in winter. Pay attention to your battery, especially if you hear sluggish sounds when you start your car. This is a major warning sign that shouldn’t be ignored. It is best to have your battery load tested before the winter chill comes around. Don’ forget to check the connections.

Keep your battery charged throughout the winter to keep it from freezing. A weak battery will freeze at 32 degrees Farenheit, while a fully charged one won’t freeze until about 76 degrees Farenheit.

Install winter tires

Winter tires use special compounds that can significantly reduce braking distance in winter weather. They also give tires better grip on ice, snow or wet roads. These tires are especially designed to provide optimum performance when braking, cornering or driving uphill or downhill.  Remember, the right tire combined with weather-appropriate driving increases driving safety.

Tire pressure decreases in cold weather. As such, drivers should check the tire pressure regularly during the winter. The air pressure inside your tires goes down by about 1 or 2 PSI every time the outside temperatures drop by 10 degrees.

Switch to winter-grade oil

Switch to oil with lower cold weather viscosity grade when the cold weather begins to set in. The colder the weather, the thinner you want the oil to be. If you usually use 10W-30 oil, we highly recommend that you switch to 5W-30 at your next oil change.