LOVES PARK, Ill. (WTVO) — With rain and snow forecast overnight Thursday, auto experts say now is the time to make sure your car is ready for winter weather.

Bruce LaMeier, from Goodboys Auto Care Center, at 6850 N Alpine Road, said it is important to get cars serviced at least twice a year to prepare for the extreme heat and cold in northern Illinois.

“Wipers, make sure all your lights are working properly even break lights tale lights, along with tires and anti-lock brakes. Make sure it’s all operating as designed,” he said. “Check under hood. We then check the exterior lighting, wipers, and then we check underneath, for any loose suspension parts or steering parts.”

LaMeier said all drivers should be prepared, with an emergency kit of blankets, snacks, jumper cables, and kitty litter, in case a car gets stuck in the snow and ice.

Rockford native Taylor Fryza says she drives a lot for her job, so she believes it is important to make sure her car can get her home in bad weather.

“I was up in Michigan a week prior. We got this huge ice storm that came through and it was definitely a reminder to get ready for the winter here, because they already got it,” she said.

Other drivers, such as Jennifer Jones, said she keeps extra boots and clothes in her car, in case she gets stuck on the road.

“[I make sure] my tires are working well. No problems with my tires. And, [I] just make sure that I got the windshield wiper filled and I actually carry some extra clothes with me, too, just in case,” she said.

Jim Fagerburg said he tries “to keep the gas all the way up, and [that the] battery is good, running great. I don’t have the luxury of putting it in a garage, so it’s outside. But, you know, I run it everyday.”

LaMeier said Goodboys Auto Care is offering a free winter inspection this month.