Even though it’s already halfway through December, real winter weather still hasn’t quiet hit. This gives the procrastinators (me) a chance to get their cars ready before it gets brutally cold out and the roads get slick. While I’m a guy who loves and appreciates cars, I don’t always do the best job prepping mine for the harsher conditions winter brings. A good part of that is not knowing what the best practice is when it comes to prep. So, here is a checklist for you to run through to prepare your car for winter:

Battery

As we know, cold weather can be hard on your car’s battery. Make sure it’s charged and it’s system is working properly. This way you won’t be left stranded after taking a risky trip in the snow to the grocery store for those Milano’s.

Anti-Freeze

Seems obvious, but sometimes we forget to clean, flush, and replace the fluid. You should usually do this about every two years.

Windshield

Nothing worse than not being able to see during a snow storm, right? Right. Consider using winter wiper blades, cold weather washer fluid, and check your heaters and defrosters.

Tires

Losing control is a major concern during winter time. To decrease the risk this winter be sure your tires have proper tread levels and tire pressure. If you use seasonal tires, be sure to throw on your winter boots before the first snow.

Filters and Fluids

Oil, fuel, air and transmission fluids should all be checked before the winter. If you live in especially cold climates, you may want to use a “winter weight” oil during these coming months.

Brakes

Being able to stop is what makes the brakes a car’s most valuable safety asset. While they should always be maintained, be sure they’re up to snuff this winter.

Lights

See and be seen. Your lights will help keep you and other drivers safe.

There are other ways to keep stay prepared, like keeping your tank at least half full and checking your spare tire’s pressure. It’s never a bad idea to keep a stocked emergency kit, your trusty ice scraper, and jumper cables at the ready. Since it is winter, bringing a heavy blanket can come in handy in an emergency situation as well.

Lastly, if you see an open parking lot during a snow storm, definitely do not do power slides. Or donuts. Promise? Me neither.