ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Parts of New Mexico, including Albuquerque, have already seen snow ahead of the first day of winter on Dec. 21, 2023.

Route 66 Auto and Truck repair shop in Albuquerque said it has received inquiries about how people can winterize their vehicles. “The most important thing that you want to do is always check your fluids, your oil, your coolant, make sure your battery is good, and make sure all your fluids are topped off,” said Justin Platt, lead and master tech at Route 66 Auto and Truck.

If your coolant level is low it can freeze and damage the engine, Platt explained.

Checking your tire pressure is also another important task. “You want to make sure you have a good all-weather tire and you always check your pressures every morning because, hot and cold, your pressures are always going to change,” Platt said.

When it comes to making sure tires have adequate tread, Platt said vehicle owners can do a test using a penny. Instructions can be found here. It is important to have good tread as bald tires can cause cars to slide during icy or wet conditions.

Some people may opt to use studded tires or chains in the winter. ABQ Transmission & Auto recommends that drivers check local guidelines, as some places may have restrictions in place.

Other things ABQ Transmission & Auto recommends that drivers check to make sure they are working properly are heaters, defrosters, and four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive systems.

While this does not have to deal with vehicle operations, Platt recommends that people keep the following equipment in their vehicles: “Make sure you have jumper cables, roadside flares, triangles, anything like that. A blanket, extra clothes, something in case your car does break down, so you can stay warm,” Platt said.