Winter is coming and getting your vehicle ready for the winter months is really not that difficult or costly, but there are some important things to cover. Oil is the life blood of your engine and having it and your oil filter changed will ensure easier starting and less debris build up in your engine during the cold months. Using a synthetic blend oil also helps maintain viscosity in our sub zero climate allowing easier startups on those cold mornings. The wiper and washer system should be tested and new blades installed if needed.
The battery and charging system should also be checked to ensure it is operating to full capacity. This would be a great time to change that weak battery before you have to make that call for a tow truck at 6am while trying to head off to work! The cooling system should also be checked for integrity and coolant strength with a reading of -40c being ideal for our southern Ontario region. A proper mixture of water and coolant will give you the desired strength as explained on the manufacturer’s bottle. Never put antifreeze in “straight” as this will cause “jelling” and lack of circulation at low temperatures and cause overheating plus damage.Some people are still under the impression that “all season” tires are fine for winter but be advised, there is no substitute for a set of four proper winter snow tires, especially when it comes to stopping in ice and snow. As well as keeping you safe, having snow tires will also give you a premium discount from most auto insurance companies.Keeping a set of booster cables, snow brush, spare washer fluid, warning triangle and a couple of warm blankets in your car for winter is also a good safety precaution in case you need them or the worse happens and you get stuck somewhere and have to wait for the help you called for on the cell phone you should also have with you! Use these basic tips and care when driving and you should enjoy safe winter traveling with no worries!
By Perry Mason, a Certified Master Automotive Technician with over 30 years in the automotive world.