* Begin with the basics. Review your owner’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s service intervals.
* Replace worn wiper blades and keep plenty of washer fluid on hand. Check that all lights and bulbs are working.
* Replace worn tires with all-season radials or snow tires, as conditions warrant; don’t forget to check the spare tire and jack.
* Correct engine performance problems (rough idling, poor acceleration, or hard starts) before cold weather sets in.
* Have a qualified auto technician check your battery and cables’ condition, plus the radiator and all hoses and belts.
* Ensure the heater and defroster are in good working order; have the exhaust system examined for leaks, for potentially deadly conditions in closed vehicles.
* Carry emergency gear: flares, boots, gloves, ice scraper, high-energy snacks, a blanket, shovel, flashlight, tire chains, a few tools, and a cell phone.