With winter, and its rain, snow, sleet and sub-freezing temperatures “in the offing, car care becomes especially important. Motorists are advised to have a professional technician check for signs of wear on the car. Walt Alley, director of training at the Midas Institute of Technology in Palatine, 111, suggests checking these car service areas:

• Brakes. Checks brake pads and shoes for wear.

• Exhaust system. Look for holes in the muffler, exhaust or tailpipe.

• Oil and lube. Use the proper winter weight motor oil and give your car a lube job to help protect suspension and steering parts.

• Shocks. Worn-out shock absorbers can hinder braking, especially during sudden stops, land allow  excessive body rolls on curves.

Alley also suggests assembling a “winter survival” kit to keep in the trunk, to include booster cables, shovel, low chain, rock salt or sand, emergency flares, flashlight, and first-aid kit.

Racing driver Alan Kulwicki advises car owners also check tires, the gas tank — running out of gas and flat tires and the two leading non-mechanical causes of highway breakdowns,’he says — and antifreeze.