What does it take to properly winterize your vehicle? It’s simple—just schedule a Honda service appointment at Honda of Grays Harbor. Below, we’ve laid out some of the things we check for when preparing vehicles for winter driving.

First and foremost, you want to make sure your fluids are topped off and properly formulated. Freeze-resistant wiper fluid will help your wipers cut through snow and ice, rather than freezing on the spot and making your visibility worse. Then there’s your coolant, which needs to have the proper ratio of antifreeze to water in order to avoid freezing inside the radiator. Lastly, extremely cold temperatures can make the oil in your car flow too slowly—or not at all. Switching to thinner oil for the winter can help avoid this problem.

After we check your fluids, we’ll look over the battery, cables, and terminals. Battery capacity takes a hit in the cold weather. You want to make sure you’re starting with a healthy battery, and that you replace it if that’s not the case. Some folks have all-season tires so that they don’t have to worry about changing their tires. Unfortunately, temperatures here near Hoquiam, WA tend to get a little too cold for all-season tires. That’s why we recommend transitioning to snow tires during the winter months. They are made of specially-formulated rubber and boast aggressive tread patterns with more surface area to enhance traction.

No matter how well you prepare, winter has a way of sneaking up on you. Keep a winter emergency kit stocked and accessible in the car should you find yourself waiting out a sudden snow storm, accident, or other winter weather setback. This article has some helpful advice on what to else include.