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Seasonal Reminder: Winter car essentials

Winterizing your car may begin with snow tires, but that's not where the preparations should end.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With the first major snow of the season on the way for Buffalo this week, here's a gentle reminder of what you should have in your car this time of year. And while the winter car preps may begin with snow tires, that's not where the checklist should end. 

Last winter Storm Team 2 Meteorologist Elyse Smith spoke to Michael Fries of the National Weather Service in Buffalo during Winter Weather Awareness Week and for her digital series, "Experiments with Elyse." 

He suggests having your engine tuned up, battery checked and engine coolant or antifreeze tested to see if it can withstand the extreme cold. And installing new windshield wipers can increase visibility during times of heavy rain or snow. Finally, he suggests that snow tires or all-season tires are properly inflated and have enough tread to grip the road.

Mike also mentioned creating or checking your survival kit for your car, along with putting winter gear back in your car. For winter tools, this may include snow and ice scraper, shovel, and snow tracks for tires.

For the emergency survival kit, including blankets, bottles of water, nonperishable snacks, first aid supplies, and a flashlight. Car-specific tool kits, jumper cables, and an emergency hammer should also be kept in a car year-round. 

Experiments with Elyse: Winter Weather Awareness Week

While it may not feel like winter outside today, it is Winter Weather Awareness Week across NY. Join myself and special guest Michael Fries of the National Weather Service for tips on how to winterize your car before the bad weather strikes.

Posted by Elyse Smith on Friday, November 6, 2020

Specifically for the trunk of your car, consider putting in a bag of sand, cat litter, or an old crate of books. This can help stabilize the weight across your car and limit the severity of skidding or sliding on ice.