DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Winter can be hard on cars. Here’s how to get your car ready for the cold.

Cold temperatures and icy road conditions can make driving difficult in the winter, especially for older cars. Checking car parts and having an emergency kit prepared can help prevent disaster on the roadways.

Check Car Parts

AAA responded to nearly 100,000 calls for Emergency Roadside Service in Ohio alone last year, with almost half of those calls requiring a tow. AAA recommends getting started on car care before the cold hits.

  • There are more than 1.2 million weather-related crashes each year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. A big factor can be worn tires. Before roads turn icy, drivers should check tread depth and tire pressure to make sure tires are safe for winter conditions.
  • Car batteries last from three to five years. Batteries should be checked at the three-year mark and then on an annual basis going forward.
  • Engine system failures are most common in vehicles older than 10 years. Engines should be checked before the snowy season to ensure all systems are functioning properly. Belts and hoses should also be inspected and replaced when needed.
  • Incorrect fluid levels can cause breakdowns and damage. Checking fluids regularly can prevent issues from occurring.

Keep a Winter Emergency Supply Kit

Even if you stay on top of car care, incidents can still occur. Here are a few items to keep in your car during the winter in case of emergencies.

  • An ice scraper is a must-have item for winter months to remove ice and snow from windows. A shovel can also help remove snow from the rest of the vehicle.
  • A blanket or extra coat can come in handy if stranded out in the cold. Having emergency water and food will also help. If your car gets stuck in snow, a bag of sand or cat litter can help your tires gain traction against the slippery surface.
  • Having a first-aid kit, flashlight and jumper cables is a smart choice all-year-round. Make sure everything is still functional before heading out on the roads this winter.

To find more information on how to make sure your car is ready for the winter, go to