Tips on preparing vehicles for cold temperatures

MEQUON -- We've been pretty lucky so far this winter, heading into the beginning of December with milder-than-average temperatures, but the colder weather on the way serves as a reminder to motorists to take some time to prepare vehicles to handle the winter elements, and stay fully functional.

With temperatures expected to potentially dip into the teens on Friday, Vic Phillips, the manager at a local Goodyear store says with 36 years of auto service under his belt, he has plenty of suggestions to help drivers navigate the next few cold winter months. Phillips says drivers should try to always keep at least half a tank of gas in their vehicle for the winter months because if the gas tank isn't full enough, moisture will get into the gas line and freeze, and the engine will quit running.

Phillips says giving the vehicle adequate time to warm up before taking off in the morning is also important, as is not allowing the vehicle to heat up too fast. "If there is snow packed up on the windshield and it's really cold out, and you get in and start it up and turn the heat on high, if you let it heat quick enough, it can crack the glass," Phillips said.

Phillips also suggests drivers make sure they have appropriate and sufficiently inflated tires on their vehicles, so they're able to get enough traction when driving on snow and ice. "Putting snow tires on all four wheels increased your drive-ability, cornering and stopping tremendously. Very important," Phillips said.

Another important suggestion during the winter months is making sure there is a cold weather survival kit in your vehicle. This should include warm clothes, blankets, non-perishable food items, and water, just in case you become stranded.