Colorado Springs, Colorado (NAPSI) - Savvy drivers know it’s wise to winterize their car before the cold weather hits. That’s the word from experts who say investing an hour or two of your time to have your vehicle checked is all it takes to have peace of mind.

Plus, it’s an investment that pays dividends when it comes to avoiding the cost and hassle of a breakdown during severe weather.

Says Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council, “A vehicle check before the temperatures drop is a sensible way to avoid being stranded out in the cold and the unexpected expense of emergency repairs.”

Winterizing Your Vehicle

To help, the Car Care Council recommends the following tips:

• Have the battery and charging system checked for optimum performance.

• Clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system. As a general rule of thumb, this should be done every two years.

• Inspect heaters, defrosters, lights and wipers.

• Check the brakes, tire tread depth and tire pressure. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads.

• If you’re due for a tune-up, have it done before winter sets in.

• Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks. Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals.

• Keep the gas tank at least half full at all times. And stock an emergency kit with an ice scraper, jumper cables, flashlight, flares, blanket and needed medication.

For a free copy of the council’s “Car Care Guide” or for more information, visit