It may be October, but winter is just around the corner, which means the weather will be putting more demands on vehicles. Automotive experts say now is a good time to make sure everything is in good shape.

Robert Sinclair of AAA/Northeast says make sure your tires are in good shape before they are put to the test on wet roads.

"Tires with low tread can combine to create a film of water under the tires so that it leads to a situation called hydroplaning," he said. "That's when a layer of water is between the tire and the road. That's like driving on ice."

Sinclair says drivers can use a simple method to measure tire tread wear.

"That can be measured by using something as simple as a coin, a quarter. Put that coin in upside down and if the tread goes above George Washington's head, you're in good shape. If it doesn't, you have to get new tires on your vehicle."

What about driving on New Jersey's rough, less-than-perfect roads?

"You know this is something certainly going to proliferate once again in the months ahead," he said. "Probably the best defense against potholes is to make sure tires are properly inflated when the tire hits that far edge of the pothole."

Sinclair says if your battery's been around for awhile, watch out. Batteries are more likely to fail in cold weather.

"A battery loses about 30% of its power when the temperature is at freezing 32 degrees fahrenheit. So get it tested if it is three to five years old because it will face a severe test come winter time," he said.

Other components that a critically important heading into winter include brakes, wheel alignment and coolant levels.

October's weather is still on the mild side, so you still have time to get your car right.

Joe Cutter is the senior news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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