Urging drivers to prepare vehicles for winter weather

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RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Cold weather is just around the corner, which means drivers should check their cars now to make sure they are ready for winter.

AAA Mid-Atlantic urges drivers to prepare their vehicles for winter weather before it gets here, especially since being proactive can help keep vehicle maintenance costs down.

"Learning how to handle common maintenance issues is beneficial to anyone who gets behind the wheel," said Tammy Arnette, the senior public affairs specialist for AAA. "Proper maintenance can extend the life of your vehicle and help prevent costly repairs."

While maintenance requirements have changed over the years, vehicles still do require some annual maintenance to maintain performance and safety.

AAA has several tips for people who are looking into what their vehicle needs for the winter.

First, owners should read the owner's manual, which outlines the maintenance requirements set by the manufacturer.

Be attentive when it comes to how brakes operate, such as noticing If there are pulsations, pulling, noises while breaking or needing more time to stop.

Vehicle owners should follow the recommendations of in-vehicle maintenance reminders, though these usually do not specifically cover operations that need to be performed on a time or mileage basis, such as brake fluid, coolant flushes, or timing belt replacement.

Every owner should find a local repair shop they truck, and the best time to do so is before a repair shop is needed.

Friends, family and coworkers can recommend area repair shops and mechanics and AAA has a list of Approved Auto Repair facilities available online at the link in the Related Links box.

Maintenance tasks include rotating and balancing tires, changing the oil and the oil filter, replacing the air filters, changing the transmission fluid, and many other tasks.

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