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Photos: Ten ways to make your car winter-ready -- and avoid killing yourself or someone else

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Big photos below.
After publishing "Ten things for winter-driving virgins to know before hitting snowy roads," we heard from readers about stuff we left out -- like making sure your car is ready for winter, as opposed to heading to the interstate on tread-free tires and hoping for the best. Fortunately, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has those angles covered, too, with tips that go beyond tires to wipers, antifreeze and batteries -- all key given our current brutally cold temperatures. Count down our photo-illustrated list of the NHTSA's most important info below.

Number 10: Check the age of your tires....

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...including your spare tire. Look for the tire identification number on the sidewall of the tire, which begins with the letters "DOT." The last four digits represent the week and year the tire was manufactured.

Check the owner's manual for specific recommendations for when to replace a tire. Some vehicle manufacturers recommend that tires be replaced every six years regardless of use.

Number 9: Check tire pressure....

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... and make sure each tire is filled to the vehicle manufacturer's recommended inflation pressure, which is listed in your owner's manual and on a placard located on the driver's side door frame (called the "B-pillar"). If a vehicle does not have a B-pillar, then the placard is placed on the rear edge of the driver's door. Tire pressure drops as the temperature drops. Properly inflated tires ensure optimum tire performance and load carrying capacity.

Continue to keep counting down the ten ways to make your car winter-ready -- and avoid killing yourself or someone else.



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38 comments
Sam Miller
Sam Miller

if you don't know how to drive in the snow go back to california

Larry Sweeney
Larry Sweeney

Um, none of these things are actually winter-specific?

Kyla Cangemi
Kyla Cangemi

If I had one, that would be awesome. Sadly, most people in apartments don't. :P

Kyla Cangemi
Kyla Cangemi

Sometimes mine get stuck because when I turn off my vehicle, the heat inside radiates out along the windshield, melting a tiny bit of snow as it falls onto the wipers and sometimes makes them stick to the windshield -- this happens, then more snow piles on, so that when I go to scrape in the morning, the wipers might get damaged if I have to wriggle them free. So I guess it's not 100% a thing you have to care about, but lifting them definitely seems to save me time, haha.

Andrea Morgan
Andrea Morgan

And clear the snow off the top of your car, so that it doesn't fall off onto your cleared-off windows when you start driving.

progresswest
progresswest

Lower gears even on automatics, are there for a reason. Use them.

progresswest
progresswest

Kick the black ice chunks out of your wheel wells before you take off.

progresswest
progresswest

Clean the snow cap off the top of your car — that huge chunk of snow eventually slides off, usually into someone else's windshield!

Kevin Kline
Kevin Kline

Clean the fucking snow off your windows!

Christy Bruckner
Christy Bruckner

funny coming from someone who doesn't even have their drivers license.

David Brown
David Brown

Does that just make it easier to clear the window of snow/ice? I don't do it because I've never had issue lifting them in the morning to scrape under/around them. I've always wondered if there was some weird cult whose ritual is to lift their wipers before it snows to bring good fortune upon them! Haha! Also, having your wipers up seems like it could make your vehicle a target for vandalism...teenagers.

David Brown
David Brown

Many people do forget about clearing (all of) their lights off! It certainly helps people to see YOU better.

Nikki Olszewski
Nikki Olszewski

Great info for me as I am a Virgin Driver here in Co... But as mentioned by other readers Co drives do not clear there windows of snow and NEVER clear off the top of all the lose snow so that when Im behind you Im not all of a sudden in blizzard...

Keith Baker
Keith Baker

Turn their headlights on when it's snowing.

Frank Wojcinski
Frank Wojcinski

forget how to drive in this weather. To get off the phone and drive.

Haiko Stefan Seeling
Haiko Stefan Seeling

Clean off your car FULLY so flying ice and snow doesn't impale another driver! Its completely illegal on the East Coast to drive with inches of snow and ice on your car. Quit being lazy!!

Michael McCarthy
Michael McCarthy

They forget to put their liquor bottles back in the house, so, they expand and break!

Michael McCarthy
Michael McCarthy

They drive without scraping the ice off their windows. Lol.

Sean Dolan
Sean Dolan

How bout learn to downshift and actually clear the snow off your windshields and lights...

Jonnie Ramirez
Jonnie Ramirez

When it's snowin out there make sure to pull your wipers away from the windshield to prevent freezing. I've seen too many windows busted because of that. It's not supposed to get any nicer people, please drive carefully

Stan Salazar
Stan Salazar

#3 & #2 illustrations both show the woman filling up The windshield washer fluid. How could y'all forget the absolute #1 fluid to check... The blinker fluid!

Stan Salazar
Stan Salazar

Stay away from them if they can't operate them safely.

ryan.cordova
ryan.cordova topcommenter

One more to add, check your wheel well for ice build up so that it doesn't interfere with your tire.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

Amen, Kevin. Thanks for posting.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

That's a good one, David. Thanks.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

Glad to help, Ann. Be safe and thanks for posting.

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

"#3 & #2 illustrations both show the woman filling up The windshield washer fluid. How could y'all forget the absolute #1 fluid to check... The blinker fluid!" -- You're right....#3 shows windshield washing fluid, not coolant/anti-freeze.  You said the #1 fluid to check is "blinker fluid" but I think you mean brake fluid...lol...but you're right.  That one should be on the list along with power steering fluid.  The tire checks should have been lumped into one and these added imo.

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

Cars don't kill people...people kill people.

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