Winter Guide: Preparing vehicles for ice, snow and cold

Abandoned cars line the side of I-405 as commuters work their way into town in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. A winter storm dumped several inches of snow in the area late Wednesday, snarling traffic, causing many commuters to abandon their cars. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

PORTLAND, Ore. – Winter temperatures and precipitation aren’t just brutal for humans to endure; vehicles can take a hit from cold conditions as well.

With blustery wind and snow likely in the forecast this year, there are a few things you can do to protect your vehicle, and yourself, on slick roads.

Cliff Pruner from Les Schwab in Northwest Portland said first off, drivers need to be doing regular maintenance before winter rolls around.

That includes checking the battery and windshield wipers and making sure all fluids are filled. Some wiper fluids serve as de-icers so it might be worth it to change the fluid you’re using for the winter.

Pruner said above all, drivers need to have the right items in the car with them in case they’re stuck in cold conditions.

“We’ve got a winter road kit which has gloves, a shovel, a flashlight,” Pruner said. “We've got jumper cables in case your battery dies… The cold weather is really hard on batteries.”

Pruner said snow chains are also a useful thing to carry around. Sometimes they’re required in parts of Portland.

He said drivers also need to check the tire pressure on their vehicles and make sure they’re not over or under inflated.

He added, one positive thing after last year’s winter is that a lot more people are prepping their vehicle sooner, rather than later.

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