Most of us depend on our vehicles to get us where we need to go. We depend on them to get groceries and other everyday tasks. In the winter we still need to depend on our cars, but they need to be tuned up to remain efficient. What do you need to know before the snow flies and the cold settles in?
Winter Tire Replacement and Balance
Winter is more then just the cold and frost. Canadian winters are full of snow and ice. This means that cars get stuck in the snow or slide on the ice when you don’t have winter tires on. Follow the rule of seven to know when to take your car in to get the tires replaced for winter. When the temperature dips below seven degrees on a regular basis, it is time for the tire change.
So Frosty You Can’t See
When you have to do the “Canadian defrost” and scrape your credit card along the window to clear enough to see while the heater kicks on, it is time to make sure that your windshield wipers are working and the tank is filled with winter cleaning fluid. Winter wipers are built to prevent snow and ice buildup and still work well at a brisk -40°C.
When the temperature begins to drop, it is time to think about an oil change. It is important to follow the recommendations of the manufacturer. This oil change is not just because of the kilometres that you may have driven, but a lightweight oil can be better for your car in the winter. It is better for cold starts and has better protection in the cold during startup. Take your car to your dealer or mechanic for a quick oil change.
Please Start…Please Start…
This is the chant of many Canadian drivers on a cold winter morning. Before the first big cold snap in October, test your battery. You may have to go to a mechanic shop for a testing to ensure that the battery is good and that there is enough crank power to get through the winter. When looking at the battery, make sure that the posts are clean, there is no acid on them and the terminals are clean. While you are there, check the block heater to make sure that your car will stay warm. A winter tip: put a portable booster in your car in case the battery drains or fails.
Ideally you should have your car in for a tune up in late fall. This way a trained professional can ensure that everything is ready for the winter. When it is time to replace your tires, it is time to book the appointment. The shop will be able to check to make sure everything is in working order, the brakes will stop, the ani-freeze is new and the hoses and belts are tight.