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Automotive Experts: It’s Not Too Late To Winterize Your Car!

There Are Many Precautions You Can Take So You're Ready If Things Go Wrong

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MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Time is running out, but there are still several things you can do to prepare your car — and yourself — if you’re on the road during this weekend’s impending snowstorm.

With a blast of winter coming our way, there are things you can do right now to make sure you and your car stay safe, CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Friday.

AAA New York says it’s time to make a list and check it twice – for your car, especially with a winter storm warning in affect for much of the Tri-State Area this weekend.

“It can be a life and death situation when you’re stuck by the side of the road. It’s more than just inconvenient. When it’s icy, snowy and cold, you can wind up being possibly struck by another vehicle; you might might wind up being stranded and the cold affecting you,” AAA spokesperson Robert Sinclair said.

Your car needs winter survival gear, starting with gas. Keep the tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.

John Tirpan of TNT Automotive in New Hyde Park says top off your windshield fluid. Plain water won’t do the trick.

“A lot of people will add water in the summer and then forget it’s water and then it freezes,” Tirpan said.

Wiper blades should be changed every year because they lose effectiveness, experts say, and keep them clean with alcohol.

While you’re at it, clean your headlights. Grime can cut visibility by 90 percent, experts say. And check your battery, because at freezing it loses 30 percent of its power.

Tires also need proper inflation. Check with automotive experts, because too little or too much is not good.

You also should check the tread, but the “penny test” — sticking a penny in the tire to see if it reaches Lincoln’s head — is old school. These days tires are equipped with tread wear indicators.

“It’s a little piece of rubber between the tread and if the tread that meets the road actually gets down to the tread indicator, the tire is no good,” Tirpan said.

And pack an emergency kit. Remember motorists stuck in cars last winter?

Experts say include the following: blanket, flashlight, paper towels, water, a small shovel, an ice scraper, and something for traction — like rock salt or even cat litter.

And always remember to increase your distance in icy weather. If you skid, look and steer in the direction you want to go, experts say.

AAA New York is also reminding drivers that it’s a good idea to keep a phone charger in your car, in case you get stuck for a long period of time.

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