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Photos: Ten ways to make your car winter-ready -- and avoid killing yourself or someone else

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Number 10: Check the age of your tires.... ...including your spare tire. Look for the tire identification number on the sidewall of the tire, which begins with the letters "DOT." The last four digits represent the week and year the tire was manufactured.

Check the owner's manual for specific recommendations for when to replace a tire. Some vehicle manufacturers recommend that tires be replaced every six years regardless of use.

Number 9: Check tire pressure.... ... and make sure each tire is filled to the vehicle manufacturer's recommended inflation pressure, which is listed in your owner's manual and on a placard located on the driver's side door frame (called the "B-pillar"). If a vehicle does not have a B-pillar, then the placard is placed on the rear edge of the driver's door. Tire pressure drops as the temperature drops. Properly inflated tires ensure optimum tire performance and load carrying capacity. Continue to keep counting down the ten ways to make your car winter-ready -- and avoid killing yourself or someone else.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts