Photo: Julio Cortez (AP)
CountersteerYour true stories of good and bad things that happen in cars.  

The days are getting shorter and the nights are growing longer. Leaves are at the brink of turning, temperatures are dropping, everyone is getting antsy about getting their tacky Christmas decorations out, and—shit. Snow. Ice! Shit!

Here I am, a wee Texas gal, excited about her first proper winter living in the northeast, and my boyfriend has to go and drop a bomb on all my quaint winter plans. “You better get that deathtrap car winterized.” I’m sorry, I have to do what no?

I don’t intend to sound clueless, but I’ve just never had to deal with this aspect of car ownership before. Here I was thinking that getting an ice scraper was going to be enough to get me through the long-haul months where it’s dark and gray and cold and miserable, and suddenly he’s talking winter tires and changing my windshield wiper fluid, and, heck. I’m out of my depth here

So, wonderful folks, I’m here to ask: what are your best tips for the winter? What’s that one thing you do every year that makes all the difference, either in prepping or driving or just simply maintaining your car? Where should I—and all the other southern transplants like myself—start when it comes to navigating a brand new season that isn’t just “less-hot autumn” and involves temperatures that actually dip below freezing?