By Kirsten Mitchell

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As a winter storm rolls through, Minnesota roads are expected to be slick. Auto shops say a quick vehicle checkup could save you a big headache down the road.

“I’m never ready for the winter. But I guess I’ll have to be!” Minneapolis resident Gail Whitson said as she checked her tire pressure Saturday in Coon Rapids.

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Whether you’re ready or not, winter driving is back in Minnesota, and auto shops say a quick checkup could save you from a big headache later on.

“It’s always good not to procrastinate and service your vehicle before the bad weather does hit,” Bobby & Steve’s Auto Works Operations Leader Darin Williams said.

Williams is helping drivers ‘winterize’ their cars, which starts with a checkup.

“Definitely have a good set of tires on the vehicle, nice traction, either snow or all-season tire,” Williams said.

With the cold temperatures, he said to check your tire pressure often. It’s a good time to get your car battery checked, which tends to get weaker in the cold.

Make sure your windshield wipers work and check your fluids.

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“Definitely most vehicles on the road, check your antifreeze, make sure it’s a good clean fluid,” said Williams.

Once you’re on the road, law enforcement reminds drivers to slow down and take extra care.

It’s also recommended to have an emergency kit in your vehicle in case you get stranded on the side of the road and need to wait for assistance.

AAA recommends having the following items:

 

  • Cell phone and car charger (glove compartment)
  • First-aid kit (glove compartment)
  • Blanket (luggage area)
  • Drinking water/snacks for everyone in the car including pets (some in glove compartment, the rest in the luggage area)
  • Flashlight with extra fresh batteries
  • Rags, paper towels or pre-moistened wipes
  • Basic set of tools along with duct tape and car emergency warning devices such as road flares or reflectors (luggage area)
  • Ice scraper/snow brush
  • Jumper cables/jump pack
  • Traction aid such as sand, salt or non-clumping cat litter
  • Tarp, raincoat and gloves
  • Shovel

 

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Kirsten Mitchell