GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The snow has started, so if you haven’t already prepared your vehicle for the winter, now is the time.

For your safety and for small problems that may have been overlooked during summer months that could become more serious when the temperature drops, preparing your vehicle for winter weather is essential.

“Winter time is definitely one of the most difficult driving environments you’ll ever have to be in,” Logan McElhinney, the manager at Firestone auto care in Muskegon, said.

McElhinney said getting winter tires should be the first thing you do.

“Winter tires are designed with cold weather traction in mind,” he said. “They are there to increase that traction on any surface. It allows them to channel away snow and slush and any wetness that might be under that tire trying to get down to the root road.”

It is also crucial to check the battery of your vehicle.

“As the temperatures start to decline, your battery is going to start to lose some of that power to start the vehicle,” he said.

Check with your local auto shop to see if it does free battery testing.

“We’re gonna make sure that it has the proper cold cranking amperage that it needs to be able to keep the vehicle running and make sure it’s gonna start every time,” McElhinney said.

When driving in the snow, visibility is crucial. Make sure you have winter wiper blades and consider fluid made for below-freezing conditions.

You should also make sure your vehicle contains emergency supplies: an extra set of clothes, a blanket, nonperishable food, water and a phone charger.