For most of you, the holidays have already started to look like a winter wonderland. But for those of us in Texas, it’s just getting started. But whether that blistery weather is currently upon you, or just around the corner, we all need to prepared for the road ahead. And while we recently gave you some tips for surmounting the snowy terrain, now it’s time to check back in with some tips on how to keep your car in tip-top shape this winter.

BATTERY IS LIFE

Be sure to have your battery tested by a trained technician to ensure it’s working properly and holds a charge. Also check the terminals for any corrosion. Palin and simple: without a battery, you’re won’t be able to battle the winter weather.

DON’T GET HOSED

In the winter, your engine hoses are constantly constricting and expanding from the mix of cold weather and heat from the engine. Make sure you check for any cracks, leaks or loose clamps, and if you find any, replace the hoses immediately. Because we wouldn’t want your holiday travels to go down the tubes.

STAY COOL

Antifreeze does wonders in the winter because it makes the freezing point of water much lower and increases the boiling point, making it easier for your car to kick over. It also protects against oxidation and corrosion. Be sure to check your antifreeze levels when engine is cold, and if it’s low, add a 50/50 solution of coolant and water to hold you over. Because one of the best ways to keep it safe is to keep it cool.

SHINE A LITTLE LIGHT

It may seem a little obvious, but make sure your lights are in working order. Sometimes, you don’t realize your lights aren’t’ shining their brightest until it’s too late, or worse, too dark. Snow and precipitation can drastically obstruct your view of the road without proper lighting. The best way to know where you’re going is to actually see where you’re going.

CHECK YOUR TIRES

In the winter, the cold causes your tire pressure to drop, so be sure to check your tires more frequently. Also, if you live in an area with particularly heavy winter conditions, we highly recommend you get a pair of snow tires. These will give you the best traction and keep you safe. Which, after all, is what we care about most.

KIT WITH IT

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – a first aid kit and roadside kit are the two most important tools to keep you safe. That’s why it’s always on our wish list (wink, wink; nudge nudge).

Remember, winter, while wonderful, is still a product of Mother Nature and she isn’t always as concerned with being on the Nice List. The best thing you can do for yourself and others on the road is to be prepared, be defensive and be ready for whatever comes your way. And if on the way to grandmother’s house, you catch a little sugar from the car next to you, you know who to call to restore the rhythm of your life.