AAA offers tips to prepare you and your vehicle for driving on ice and snow

BELLEVUE, Wash. — As forecasts around much of Washington and North Idaho predict frost, flurries and even heavy snow in the next few days, AAA reminds drivers how to prepare for what could be a long season of winter driving.

Now is the perfect time for you or a trusted auto technician to run through the Winter Car Care Checklist  to help you prevent some of the most common breakdowns AAA handles during cold weather months.


  • ✓ Battery & Charging System
  • To start in the winter, vehicle engines require a fully charged battery in good condition. Test your vehicle’s battery strength; make sure terminals and cable ends are corrosion-free with tight connections.
  • Many vehicles have been driven less during the pandemic. If your vehicle hasn’t been driven in a while, you may encounter battery issues. Be sure to check it well before you need to use your vehicle.
  • ✓ Inspect drive belts and engine hoses for cracks, leaks or loose clamps.
  • ✓ Tires: Type, Tread & Pressure
  • In areas with heavy winter weather, snow tires on all four wheels provide the best winter traction. All-season tires work well in light-to-moderate snow conditions provided they have adequate tread depth.
  • Replace any tire that has less than 3/32-inches of tread.
  • Regularly check the pressure on all four tires. Pressures drop with temperatures. The proper levels are in the owner’s manual or listed on a sticker typically found on the driver’s side door jam.
  • ✓ Check engine air filter. It may need replacing after summer’s smoky skies.
    ✓ Top off all fluids: antifreeze, transmission, brake, power steering and windshield washer.
    ✓ Replace windshield wiper blades.
    ✓ Make sure headlights, brake lights and turn signals are working.  Replace any burnt out bulbs.
    ✓ Test brakes to ensure all components are in good working order.
    ✓ Carry an emergency road kit specifically equipped for winter weather.

AAA has all your winter driving resources in one place, including what items to pack in that emergency road kit, tips for driving on ice and snow, advice on what to do during a break down.