GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The snow is here, so if you haven’t gotten your car ready for winter yet, now is the time.

For your safety and small problems that may not have been noticed during the summer months that can become more serious when the temperature drops, it is important to prepare your car for the winter weather.

“Winter is definitely one of the most difficult driving conditions you’ll ever be in,” said Logan McElhinney, manager of Firestone Auto Service in Muskegon.

McElhinney said purchasing winter tires should be the first thing you do.

“Winter tires are designed with cold weather traction in mind,” he said. “They are there to increase traction on any surface. This allows them to channel snow, slush and any moisture that might be under that tire trying to get down to the trunk road.”

It is also very important to check your car battery.

“When the temperature starts to drop, your battery will start to lose some of the energy it needs to start the car,” he said.

Check with your local auto shop to see if they offer free battery testing.

“We’re going to make sure it has the proper cold cranking amperage that it needs to run the vehicle and make sure it starts every time,” McElhinney said.

Visibility is critical when driving in snow. Make sure you have winter wiper blades and consider a fluid designed for sub-freezing conditions.

You should also make sure you have the essentials in your car: an extra set of clothes, a blanket, non-perishable food, water and a phone charger.

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