SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- In this bitter cold weather, you'd never head outside without a jacket -- and experts say it's just as important to keep your car well maintained in the winter.

Mechanics say the number-one reason for distress calls is the car battery. You can stay ahead of it by checking your battery and checking under your hood for dirt and corrosion. It's a good idea to be on top of your tire pressure and tread as well.

Experts say you should also keep at least half a tank of gas at all times. It will not only prevent freezing, but it can also help in times of emergency.

"In the winter time, half tank is your empty mark. Keep it half tank or above, because you know if you get stuck in traffic or an accident, a lot of cars are not designed to just sit there in idle," said Tony Masello of Masello's Auto Service. "Running your heater, your radio, your wipers, they're not made for that."

You should also be sure to have good wipers and washer fluid. Another tip: Shoot WD-40 in your locks and crevices to prevent freezing.