LA CROSSE, WI -

Experts say there are some important steps you should take to prepare your car for the winter months.

Dahl Automotive said its important to get your battery checked, which is done for free at most shops in the area.

Getting an oil change is also necessary since it helps take care of the condensation that builds in the engine.

Experts say you'll want to make sure your belts, cables and breaks are functioning well.

But taking it into the shop is not the only way to prepare for an emergency.

"It's a good idea to carry those parts with you in your trunk if you're going to grandma's house for Christmas. You don't want to be stranded out on the side of the road with no parts available, so if you take attention to the parts that are available today and know what's going to be needed tomorrow," said Dahl Automotive service manager Tony Wantoch.

Wantoch also said it's important to make sure there's plenty of tread on your tires and that the tire pressure is at the recommended level.

You'll also want to keep at least a quarter tank of gas in your car at all times during the cold winter months.