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Winterize your car for less than $25

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After the warm November in the Tri State, most of us haven't given much thought to driving through snow.

You should: Because it's coming.

Roderick Hendricks of AAA/Bob Sumerel Car Care gave us his winter check list, and some things you can do to winterize your car for less than $25.

Fluids, blanket, scraper

Start by topping your windshield washer fluid and buying a good ice scraper.

Hendricks says his family is from up north, where getting stranded in a storm can be deadly.

"My dad's from Chicago. He always puts a shovel in his trunk, always has a blanket in there."

So Hendricks says check your car's readiness, starting with fluids.

"The main ones you want to check in the winter, you want to keep your eye on the windshield wiper fluid and anti freeze, those are the two biggest in the winter time."

Change the wipers

Then check your wipers: You should replace them annually, preferably with winter blades, that don't allow ice buildup inside the mechanism.

Roderick says winter blades are more flexible and can knock ice off of it.

Total cost for wiper blades, a bottle of blue fluid, and a scraper?  About $25.

How old is your battery?

And don't forget the battery. If your car's battery is more than five years old, have it checked, or it may not start on a cold morning.

"When it gets cold, the cold cranking amps drop, and an old battery won't be able to start your car," Roderick said.

Cost?  Checks are free at Autozone and other auto shops. However, a new battery will cost around $80 if you need one.

Tires

Finally, look at the tires. The tread wear indicators should be well below the actual tread. Cost? Checks are free at any tire shop.

"On a vehicle with worn tires, it will slide on the snow, because the channels are worn away," Roderick said. "It will probably even slide in light water on the road."

In that case, you should consider new tires.

Finally, three optional items you may want to carry:

Jumper cables. A shovel. And a bag of sand, if your car's rear wheel drive. If your car passes Rodney's checklist, he says you're ready for winter.
   
As always, don't waste your money.
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