10 DIY vehicle maintenance tips everyone can handle

Even if you're not the handy type, there are simple things you can do to keep your car in top shape all winter long.

1. Do what you can. Get acquainted with your vehicle owner's manual to see what needs to be done and when, even if you won't be doing the job yourself.

2. Pay attention to warning lights. Early intervention can prevent expensive repairs and breakdowns.

3. Focus on items that will keep your vehicle safe to operate, such as the brakes. Regularly check your brakes' fluid levels and warning lights, and watch for signs of wear.

4. Checking the level of your antifreeze/coolant may deliver the best return on your effort. It's easy to do and can help prevent some of the costliest engine repairs. Simply look under the hood for the coolant reservoir; the correct level will visible from the outside the tank. Top up if necessary.

5. Keep product choice simple. Facing a full retailer's shelf and not knowing what to buy can be intimidating. Stay safe by opting for trusted brands with long track records. When it comes to performance chemicals like brake fluid and antifreeze/coolant, Prestone products deliver proven protection that is easy to choose.

6. Properly inflated tires are safer and will save you money at the pumps, so keep an eye on your tire pressure.

7. Use smartphone apps to keep track of your maintenance schedule and get reminders for when it's time to for oil and filter changes and fluid/belt service.

8. There's no need to purchase vehicle-specific formulations of coolant and many other products for every car in your home, simplifying your choice and saving you money.

9. Changing your windshield wipers is quick and inexpensive — simply follow the instructions on your owner's manual.

10. Double check that your headlights and brake lights work. Limited visibility during shorter days and snow and ice storms means you need to do everything you can to make sure other cars can see you at all times.