How To Prepare Your Car For Winter
Posted in AUTO BODY, on December 03, 2021
Living in Canada means long winters and lots of snow. The cold weather is beginning, which means when the snow starts to hit, you’re going to want to make sure your car is prepared. There are many different steps you should take to ensure your vehicle will be completely ready and safe for winter.
To prepare your car for winter, here’s what you need to do:
- Install winter tires
- Bring your car for a maintenance check up
- Change your wiper blades to winter blades
- Fill up on fluids
- Pack a winter kit to keep in your car
- Before driving, always clear snow off all parts of your vehicle
Always install winter tires on your car. Always. The safety benefits are enormous. A car needs well-made winter tires to get good traction on snow and ice. Winter tires' tread helps them accumulate snow, which increases traction. The rubber compound does not harden in cold weather, which helps prevent cracking and allows the tires to move more easily across ice, instead of skidding.
Winter tires help keep you safe by providing better control, shorter stopping distances, and more traction. If you drive during the winter with regular tires, your stopping distance will increase significantly on snow or ice. And once you are sliding, you are depending on luck to get through the slide without hitting anything. So make sure you install those winter tires.
Bring Your Car For a Maintenance Check Up
It is incredibly important that you bring your car in for a maintenance check up before winter hits. Preventive maintenance helps keep you and your car safe. You need to ensure that things such as your battery, brakes, lights and fuses, cooling and heating systems, electrical and exhaust systems, and belts and hoses are in perfect working order for the winter months. You want to avoid having any of these stop working while you are driving, as that can put you in a very dangerous situation. You are also going to want to make sure that you are up to date on your oil changes!
Change Your Wiper Blades to Winter Blades
Changing your regular wiper blades to winter blades can help you see much clearer when driving. Regular wiper blades get packed with ice and snow, causing it to streak and miss areas of your windshield so that it’s harder to see. Winter blades are made of sturdy rubber. They're tougher than the summer blades, which helps them to scrape away ice and snow, keeping your windshield clean. Put your regular blades away until the spring when it’s time to swap them back on again.
Fill Up On Fluids
This is one of the most important things you can do to prepare for winter. You should make sure you fill up on:
- Brake fluid
- Windshield washer fluid
When it comes to windshield washer fluid, make sure you are using one that is meant for freezing temperatures, so that it won’t freeze on your windshield while you are driving. Always make sure your washer fluid is filled up, and keep an extra jug of it in your vehicle.
Brake fluid degrades in the winter months and it gets little water molecules in it that aren't good for the vehicle. Be sure to fill up on fresh brake fluid to keep everything running smoothly.
Always keep more than a half a tank of gas!
Pack a Winter Safety Kit to Keep In Your Car
You never know what could happen while driving in the winter. Your car could break down, you could get caught in the storm, you could get in a fender bender, and the list goes on. So, you always want to make sure you are going to be prepared. Here’s a list of things you should keep in your vehicle in the case of an emergency:
- Warm blanket
- Hat and gloves
- Phone charger
- Candle powered heater (metal can with a candle inside)
- Jumper cables
- Air compressor
- First Aid kit
- Non-perishable food and snacks
- Windshield scraper and snow brush
- Lighter or matches
- Extra clothing and boots
Before Driving, Clear Off All Areas Of Your Car
Before you begin driving, turn on your car and allow it to heat up for at least 5 minutes. While your car is heating up, make sure you clean the snow and ice off all areas of your vehicle including the windows, lights, mirrors, hood, and roof. Make sure all your windows are completely defrosted before beginning to drive.
Keeping yourself and your vehicle safe during the winter months is incredibly important. If you need any help performing preventative maintenance and having your vehicle checked up on before the snow hits, we can help you. Give us a call at (647) 370-9984 today!