WINTER PREPAREDNESS: Here’s what your vehicle needs before snow and ice hit the roads

The first snowfall is up in the air for the Ozarks this year, which experts say is the best time to bring your car in for an inspection
Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 5:00 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -The first snowfall is up in the air for the Ozarks this year, which experts say is the best time to bring your car in for an inspection.

Tim Fess of Rick’s Automotive stressed the importance of getting various functions tested and functional before winter weather inevitably visits the Ozarks.

“Well, of course, the cooling system, the heating operation, the tires, the wipers, the emergency lightning, and the battery - the battery being the most important,” Fess explained.

Automotive shops are busy with these requests, especially this time of year. If you cannot squeeze in for an appointment, Fess said there are several things you can do from your garage to prevent an accident down the road.

“A visual inspection of the wiper blades, your lighting, a check of your spare tire to make sure it’s still got air in it because it’s sitting back there for a long time more often than not and not been checked. A visual inspection of the tires is pretty easy to do, the inspection of the battery is a little more difficult, and that does require some equipment to test the battery. However, a lot of chain stores like O’Reilly’s and Auto Zone will offer free testing,” Fess said.

An easy trick using a penny can determine if your tread depth suits the winter. Drop Abe Lincoln upside-down into the tread, and if you can see his entire head, you probably need a fresh set of all-purpose tires.

Fess explained not all tires are equipped for snow and ice.

“Certain tires are suited better for certain climates. Many of your performance-type tires are not rated for mud, snow, and ice. However, a general all-purpose tire or anything M and S-rated are going to be your mud and snow rating. If it doesn’t have a mud and snow rating, it’s generally not best to use those in that type of environment,” Fess explained.

It’s also a good rule of thumb to keep a box of emergency supplies in the trunk in case of an emergency. Extra clothing, blankets, non-perishable food, water, and a phone charger can make a big difference.

So far, we’ve steered clear of the snow and ice this November, but our luck may run out before we know it.

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