Face facts, fellow drivers. If it’s November, it’s snow season in Idaho.

“Unexpected storms are business as usual in November,” Monte Gash, manager of Bruneel Tire Factory in Moscow, Idaho, says. “But even if you’re surprised by bad weather, you can certainly be prepared. Don’t take any chances.”

Here are 7 tips for safety on winter roads:

1. Closely inspect your tires: Look for uneven or excessive tread wear and make sure they are inflated to the manufacturer’s specifications. Consider buying a set of deep-grooved snow tires. All-season tires are not designed specifically with winter performance in mind. Only winter tires, manufactured with higher quality rubber compounds, provide superior traction, handling and braking for driving in ice and snow. The gold standard? Four new snow tires. “Don’t settle for just two,” Monte says. “Without equal traction on the front and the back, the car will slide.”

2. Benefit from a siping: If you intend to drive through winter on all-season tires, bring them in to be siped. Siped tires will deliver improved starting, stopping and driving performance in all conditions. “It’s a lateral cut in the tire that gives you extra biting edges,” Monte says. “We recommend it for most all tires.”

3. Check the battery: Car cranking slower? Dashboard lights or headlamps dim? These could be signs of a failing battery. Drop by Bruneel Tire Factory for a free battery inspection and charging system check. Batteries can last four to six years, but jump-starts and bitter temperatures can shorten the lifespan.

4. Antifreeze is essential: Check radiator fluid, sometimes called antifreeze or coolant, to make sure the level is full. And don’t forget windshield washer fluid, which is specifically formulated for cold weather and will not freeze. Top it off and buy an extra jug for the trunk.

5. Stock an emergency kit: A basic safety kit in the trunk includes a flashlight with extra batteries, snow chains, a jug of windshield washer fluid, jumper cables, emergency flair, reflectors and a spare phone charger. “In case you do get stuck while you are on the road, you should also carry a warm blanket, water and some energy bars, too,” Monte says.

6. Stay alert: Resolve to stay alert to changing weather conditions throughout winter. Slow down in adverse conditions, turn off cruise control to maintain control of acceleration and deceleration and keep headlamps lit to increase visibility. “Keep extra room between your car and traffic ahead,” Monte says.

7. Get a helping hand: Staying safe is all about preventive maintenance. Don’t risk a breakdown in the cold and ice. “Have a professional check out your vehicle from A to Z,” Monte says.

Bruneel Tire Factory turns 50 years old next year and will celebrate with something dramatic: a new name.

In early 2016, Bruneel Tire Factory officially becomes Bruneel Point S Tire & Auto Service, reflecting its new affiliation with an international buying network. The company’s ownership and the Bruneel ethic remain the same: going the “extra mile” for Idaho vehicle owners.

“This new relationship will double our buying power. We’ll be able to offer more value and brand selection and we’ll pass the savings on to our customers,” says owner Craig Bruneel. “It’s win-win.”

Drop by your local Bruneel Tire Factory, soon to be Bruneel Point S Tire & Auto Service, for a preventative maintenance check of everything under your hood: belts and hoses, transmission, brake and windshield washer fluids, air filter, antifreeze, oil, and install and install winterized windshield wipers that can withstand the rigors of ice and snow.

Visit the the website to download coupons and save on seasonal maintenance:

• $10 off the regular price of lube, oil and filter

• $10 off preventive maintenance flush

• $50 off any service of $500 or more

See store for details. “No matter what type of auto maintenance or repair service you need, Bruneel Tire Factory in Moscow and Lewiston are here for you,” Monte says.

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