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Get your vehicle ready for winter

Get your vehicle ready for winter

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Winter is definitely coming. It’s that time of year again where drivers need to prepare their vehicles for winter conditions. With that in mind, here is Car Nation Canada’s winter prep guide. This article concerns itself with mechanical checks and preparations. I shall put together a winter tire guide and winter driving guide at a later date.

Perform these checks in advance of winter to give yourself enough time to buy what you need or address any issues ahead of time. That way you skip ahead of all those people who leave it until the last minute and cram the service centre and empty parts bins in a mad rush to get ready.

Battery check
Car batteries are put under a lot of strain during cold weather. We use more lights, more heating, more wipers and more comfort features such as seat warmers. All that can stress a battery. Check your battery for condition and make sure all wires and cables are in good condition.

If your battery is a couple years old, have it tested to make sure it is fully operational.

Antifreeze is essential when the temperatures drop and your vehicle will not start without it once things start to freeze. Antifreeze should be replaced every couple of years in the right quantities. Flush your system, use good quality antifreeze in the right mix. Or have your car serviced and we can do it for you.

Antifreeze really is not something you want to leave to chance.

Wipers and screen wash
A quick check of your windshield wipers and screen wash is also important. You don’t want to be stuck somewhere not able to see where you’re going. Check the condition of your wipers to make sure they are ready to work. Look for fraying, bits missing, splits or cracking. Wipers are only a few dollars a pair so are well worth checking.

Check your screen wash too. Make sure you have enough liquid in the car and that you are using screen wash and not water and dishwashing liquid or some other mixture. Only screen wash can survive the cold.

I will cover winter tires another time but now is a good time to check the condition, wear and balance of your winter tires. Make sure they are in good condition, have no cracks or splits, are up to the correct pressure and are ready to be put onto the car once winter arrives. Now would be a good time to change any tires should they need replacing.

We use our lights a lot during winter and it is essential to see and be seen. Check all exterior lights to make sure all the bulbs work and are bright enough to be seen. Don’t forget to check blinkers, hazards and brake lights too. Clean the lenses of each and buy a bulb replacement kit for your model of car if you don’t already have one. Keep it in the trunk and if something happens, you have the spares on hand to continue your journey safely.

If you don’t have the time to perform winter checks on your car, book a service at your nearest Car Nation Canada location. We would be more than happy to do it for you!

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