Getting Your Ride Ready For Winter
Getting Your Ride Ready For Winter
Posted on September 22, 2015
Last year, the first snow fell in Waterloo Region on October 31st. That’s just over one month away! Is your car ready to deal with the impending harsh elements? Are your tires ready for the slippery roads and have you taken the necessary steps to protect your car (and you!) from salt, ice and snow?
Winter driving conditions in Ontario are precarious, particularly if proper maintenance has not been done on your car. This post reviews some of the steps you should take in order to ensure your safety during the harsh Ontario winter!
Check your batteries
Battery faults are one of the most common causes of car breakdowns, and there’s nothing worse than having your car break down in the middle of a winter storm. Before the first snow falls, have your car’s battery and charging systems checked to ensure they are performing optimally. Have your mechanic check that all clamps and battery connections are free from corrosion. If your battery is more than five years old, or if you feel your car struggle when starting, chances are it needs to be replaced.
Refill your Antifreeze
Antifreeze, or coolant fluid, is a colored fluid that is added to your radiator. It serves several purposes, most notably keeping the water in your radiator and engine from freezing in colder temperatures. It also keeps that water from overheating during the summer, as well as lubricating the moving parts it comes into contact with, such as the water pump. Every two years, the cooling system should be cleaned and flushed and filled with new antifreeze.
Replace Your Wipers If Needed
Clear visibility is vital to being safe on the roads during the winter months. It is important to have working wiper blades and windshield washer fluid to get the job done. Most people wait until they endure a frightening ride through a big storm before replacing their wipers. Get ahead of the game and check that your wipers work properly before this happens. It’s also a good idea to use a windshield washer fluid with a de-icer that removes ice, frost and road grime for better visibility.
Check Your Tires
Before you slip and slide through the first winter storm, check your tire tread depth and tire pressure. Your tires are one of the most important safety features your car has, so it is vital to ensure your tires are not excessively worn, and that they are inflated properly. To check your tire tread depth, you can either use a tire tread depth gauge, or have your mechanic take a look. If your tires are a depth of 6/32 or higher, you are good to go, but if they are 5/32 or less, it may be time to replace them. Another easy way that you can check your tire tread depth is by using a Canadian penny (if you have any left, that is!). Just place the penny in the tire groove with the Queen’s Head facing down; if you can see the top of her crown, it’s definitely time to replace your tires.
When it comes to tire pressure, it is recommended that tires be inflated 3-5 psi higher to increase tire stability and offset reduced responsiveness. Now, this varies depending on the make of your vehicle and the tires you have, so it’s very important to check with your mechanic before making any changes!
Given the amount of snow and ice that blankets the roads throughout most of Ontario during the winter, it may be in your best interest to invest in winter tires. These tires are specially designed to grip slick roads. At Bustard Chrysler we offer a wide variety of tires for every make and model; you can even check out our tire inventory on our website HERE.
Follow Manufacturer Oil Change Recommendations
It’s always important to change your oil and filter at the manufacturer recommended intervals, but this becomes even more important during the winter months! Winter weather puts heavy demands on your oil filter. Conventional oil, in particular, can become very thick during the winter months which can be rough on your filter. Because conventional oil is thicker, it takes more time to get to your engine where it is needed, which can cause damage. Synthetic oil, on the other hand, is thinner, and engineered to flow quickly at all temperatures. Check with your mechanic to see which option is best for you and your car!
Have Your Brakes Checked
Your brakes are, by far, the most vital safety feature of your car. Brake maintenance is extremely important in order to keep safe on the roads during the winter. Poorly maintained brake lines, for example, can draw in moisture, freeze, and cause brake failure. It is extremely important to have your brake system checked by a mechanic so that any deficiencies that might lead to brake failure can be identified before becoming a problem.
The aforementioned are just a few of the more important steps you should take in order to ensure every drive is a safe drive for you this winter. As always, if you have any questions about what winter maintenance should be done to your vehicle before wintertime, don’t hesitate to CONTACT US at Bustard Chrysler. We service all makes and models and would be happy to make sure you have that much safer of a drive this winter!