This is question that many Canadian car owners find themselves asking, especially after a winter like we had last year. With October being car safety month and the upcoming snowy months, what better time to write a blog about car care!
All Canadians know that our winters can be harsh, especially on our vehicles. To avoid a possibly dangerous situation, it is important that you take time while the weather is still nice to prepare your car for winter. To ensure that your car stays safe this winter, simply follow these 5 tips:
1. Check your coolant, also known as antifreeze. In most vehicles, it is important that it is flushed and refilled very two seasons to make sure that you are using fresh antifreeze.
2. Check your windshield and windshield wipers. Check your windshield to see if there are any dings or small cracks, as cold wear can cause them to expand into major cracks. For optimal performance, windshield wipers should be replaced every 6 months. This is especially important to make sure that your can see clearly, even in snowy weather. If you find your normal windshield wipers aren’t enough, consider purchasing special snow blades.
3. Check your battery. A simple check of your vehicle’s battery life could save you the inconvenience of being stuck at the side of the road in the winter. When checking, make sure to look for cracks, frays, or corrosions that would indicate it’s time for a replacement.
4. Check your oil. To help a vehicle perform at its best, most vehicles should have their oil changed at a maximum of every 5,000km. For drivers living in a cold climate that experience stop and go traffic, this can increase the wear and tear on your vehicle. That is why there is an option to change to “winter weight” oil for your vehicle, which flows better in colder weather.
5. Create an emergency preparedness kit. No amount of preparation can completely eliminate the chance you’ll encounter an emergency situation this winter. This is why we always suggest that drivers have an emergency kit in their car that contains items such as ice scraper, windshield de-icer, flashlight, blanket, extra clothes, candle/matches, bottled water, snacks, and a first aid kit.
Following these 5 simple tips will help make sure that your car is in working order for the upcoming winter, and decrease the chance that you’ll get stranded on the side of the road on the coldest day of the year.