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How To Winterize Your Car

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A sport utility vehicle travels north on Route 208 with snow on top - Fair Lawn, NJ - Feb 22, 2008 - Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

A sport utility vehicle travels north on Route 208 with snow on top – Fair Lawn, NJ (credit: Evan Bindelglass/ WCBS 880)

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MORRISTOWN, N.J. (CBS 2) – Even as the tri-state sees a few days of warm weather, winter is still on its way.

As the leaves change color, it’s time for drivers to start thinking about ways to winterize their cars.

Safety experts say you should give your car a good going-over to make sure it’s ready for the winter, CBS 2’s Don Dahler reports.

Experts recommend that drivers check their tire pressure because when it’s cold, the tires lose air pressure.

Mark van Orden of Morristown said all-season tires aren’t necessarily good enough. Snow tires make a big difference, with better grip on icy roads.

“This is the snow tire here. And you can see the more aggressive type tread design,” van Orden said. “The larger open tread segments in here, and this is more of an all-season. You see it’s not as wide open on the outer edges here.”

Drivers should also be aware of the battery expiration date. The contacts should also be clean and corrosion-free.

The engine system also needs to be flushed regularly. Drivers should top off coolant or get the system completely flushed. Experts recommend a good mixture of 50 percent water and 50 percent anti-freeze.

The oil also needs to be changed, along with wiper blades, which should be replaced at least once a year.

But part of surviving the winter is preparation. Police Chief Kevin Gaffney of Harding Township says it’s important to be ready for the worst.

“The main thing you want to leave your house with is a cell phone. With a good charged battery on it,” Gaffney said.

Prepare an emergency kit, with a good ice-scraper, small shovel, a warm blanket, extra coat, hat and gloves, a first aid kit, road salt or sand for when you get stuck on ice, a good flashlight and some road flares, Gaffney added.

Every year there’s a story about how someone crashed into a ditch and had to live for three days on old ketchup packs. That’s why you might want to keep some snacks and some water in the car.

Because no matter how beautiful the roads are right now, you can be sure of one thing. Those colorful falling leaves will all-too soon be replaced by falling snow and ice.

Drivers also need to know about a new law that went into affect in New Jersey this year requiring that you clean all the snow off your car, not just the windshield, before hitting the road.

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