It won’t be long before the bitter cold arrives and the first snowflakes begin to fly and lay a coat of white needing to be shoveled coldness all over your driveway. Canadian winters are world renowned for their bitter cold, and while most Canadians sleep in warm beds not many of our cars have that luxury. The cold weather that’s on it way can wreak havoc on your vehicle so we have come up with a check list every Canadian should know about to help ensure your car will still be around in the spring. Before you reach for the parka and snow shovel, be sure to prep your vehicle for the winter driving months.

Here are a few easy ways to help make sure your vehicle is winter ready:

Battery: Have your battery tested by a trained technician. Replacing weak batteries before they fail is a simple way to make those cold weather no starts a thing of the past.

Belts: Replace belts that are cracked or frayed, they may still work but these are both signs they are at the end of their life.

Hoses:  Any hoses that are worn or brittle need to be replaced. This is also a good time to take a look for any hoses that are damp, in many cases it is a warning sign that it needs replacing or that clamps need tightening.

Tires: Tire pressure can be reduced in cold weather, so check tire pressures frequently and maintain the manufacturer’s recommended pressure found on the driver’s door jamb. Also, install four matching winter tires. The best time to switch from all-season tires to winter tires is when the temperature reaches 7°C or below

Windshield wipers: Replace wiper blades if they do not clear the glass in a single swipe without streaking or if the rubber is beginning to crack.  Winter blades are never a bad idea as they help prevent snow build up.  Don’t forget to empty your system of summer windshield washer fluid and replace it with winter fluid.

Lubricate: This is a perfect time of year to lubricate door, hood, and trunk hinges.  Also lubricating door locks, and lock assemblies will help them freezing up in the winter.

Oil Change: Having your engine oil changed regularly is part of maintaining a healthy vehicle. Having it done or doing it yourself before the weather gets too cold can help your car with those rough morning starts.

Coolant: Check the strength of the coolant that is flowing through your engine to make sure it is strong enough to survive the freezing Canadian winter that’s ahead.  Many time car owners top up the system with water in the summer months and forget about it by the time it starts to get cold leading to a dire situation for their cars engine.

Interior Clean up: Replace your summer mats with sturdier and deeper ones made for the snowy weather ahead.  While you have the mats out it is also a good time to do a little vacuuming, it’s going to be a few months before you’ll be able to do it again.

Prepare: While preventative measures can go a long way toward keeping you driving safely on the road, unexpected weather or vehicle problems may still happen when you least expect them. Renewing or making sure you have a road side assistance membership can help when you run into unexpected problems.

Remember to also pack an emergency roadside kit. Include a mobile phone and car charger, blankets, flashlight with extra batteries, first-aid kit, bottled water, a small shovel, ice scraper, candles, a match book, snow brush, booster cables and extra clothing.


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