As we near the end of fall and clear up the remaining leaves in our yards, it’s hard not to think about the cold winter weather that’s just around the corner. While most of us are busy preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday, it’s important to make time to prep your car for winter.

Owen Murray, our Consumer Auto Advocate, appeared on FOX45 to share some advice for making your car winter-ready.

Here are his top 5 tips:

  1. Clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system. As a general rule of thumb, this should be done every two years.
  2. Make sure your heaters, defrosters and wipers work properly. Consider wiper blades designed for winter weather and use cold weather washer fluid. Keep in mind that wiper blades should be replaced every six months.
  3. Rotate your tires and check the alignment. When tires are never changed or aligned, they develop uneven tread, which limits your vehicle’s ability to grip the road and maintain control.
  4. Check the tire tread depth and tire pressureIf snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly.
  5.  Have your brakes looked at by a professional. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item – especially on icy roads.

Owen also recommends having the following pieces of equipment in your car in the event of an emergency: ice scraper, tire chains, warm boots, a jacket, blanket and gloves. And for more intense winter weather, it doesn’t hurt to have a shovel, flares and a cell phone charger.