WINTERIZING YOUR CAR:

If you are from the South or California, you may not be aware of things you should do to get your car ready for winter. Minnesota winters are hard on car batteries and yours may not last as many years as you are used t o other places. (There's a reason major manufactures test their car batteries in International Falls MN!) If your battery is weak, consider replacing it before it gets 20 below and the size battery that fits your engine compartment might be in short supply in Morris. Installing a block warmer can be a big help to get your car started easier on the really cold mornings, especially if you have to leave your car outside.

Get a tune up if your car needs one in the fall and put a mixture of half water/half antifreeze in the radiator. It may seem like more is better, but 100 % antifreeze does not work as well as mixing it half with water. Your antif reeze solution should test out to -40 F. Change your motor oil and replace it with a winter weight oil such as SAE 10w30.

Don't try to use your windshield washer fluid if it's really cold out. If it works at all, it will just freeze on the windshield and you will have to scrape it off. If you do a lot of winter driving, you may want to invest in separate winter tread tires. Most people use all season radials.

Oh yes, if you have 4 wheel drive, you are not immortal. It takes just about as long to stop a 4 wheel drive as it does a car without 4 wheel drive and you can still put yourself in a ditch. Pick-ups are liable to fishtail on ice unless you put something heavy in the back over the wheels. Loading down the trunk of a front wheel drive car d oes not help traction. Tire chains on passenger cars are not legal in Minnesota; neither are studded tires.