During the often unpredictable winter months, it is especially important to stay on top of routine car maintenance. With the arrival of frigid temperatures, batteries lose power, tire pressure falls and tire tread depth that adequately disperses water is useless in the snow. So, to prepare your car for the winter months, get your battery checked (free at some auto parts stores), clean battery terminals with a mixture of baking soda and water, tighten all connections and make sure cables are free of corrosion or cracking. Tires lose one pound per square inch of pressure for each ten-degree drop in temperature. So, if you set the pressure in August, they might be dangerously low in December. Check tire pressure outside on a cold morning, not inside a warm garage. To travel safely in snow, tires need at least 6/32nd-inch of tread, according to Tire Rack. Also, check all hoses including those leading to the heater core inside the car. If they have hairline cracks, are brittle or you detect the syrup-like smell of leaking coolant, replace all the hoses and clamps. Lastly, don't forget to install new windshield wipers.