As hard as it is to admit, summer is gone and winter is coming. That means that once again we will all be subjected to the famous Canadian winter driving conditions we all know and hate.
To make winter driving easier on both you and your car, it is important to get your vehicle ready for the season. Here are some things you can do to prepare for when the Night King comes and freezes over the land. Because...winter is coming. You get it.
Probably the number one recommendation to get winter safe is to switch from your (ill named) all-season tires to winter tires. Not only do winter tires make the roads safer for everyone, but they can also save you money on your auto insurance.
You don’t need to wait for the first snowflake to fall before making the switch either; the integrity of all-season tires is compromised once the temperature of the road dips below 7°C. Switching to winter tires in a timely manor not only gives you peace of mind that you are ahead of the safety curve (and all those trying to get them installed last minute), but may also mean you end up spending less.
When driving in the winter, it is always best to be prepared for any situation, especially an emergency. If something unfortunate were to happen, it might take rescue crews a while to get to you thanks to snow and ice on the road, so it is a good idea to pack an emergency winter safety kit and keep it in the trunk of your car. You don’t need much, but keeping a blanket, flashlight, candles, matches, small shovel, and a few granola bars handy will help immensely in the event that you find yourself stranded.
Thanks to the low temperatures of winter, you might find that it could be a bit of a struggle for your battery to get your engine started. Even if you had no issues with your battery throughout the rest of the year, it is a good idea to get a technician to test your battery and ensure that there are no issues, and that it will hold up throughout the winter months.
With snow coming at you like you are going warp speed in the Millennium Falcon, visibility is important. If your current wiper blades are cracked or ripped at all, they will not clean off your windshield as effectively, often leaving streaks behind caused by built up ice and snow. To avoid visibility issues, be sure to replace the wipers before the frost hits, and remember to check the back wiper if you own a hatchback or SUV.
The liquids that keep your vehicle running smoothly may be in trouble once the cold weather hits. Once your current windshield washer runs out, it is probably a good idea to switch to a winter specific fluid that will help melt ice on your windshield and clean away winter road grime like sand a salt.
If you are going through your vehicle maintenance schedule before winter, think about switching out your old coolant for some fresh fluid. Coolant can break down over time, which does your engine no favors, especially in the colder season.
Staying on top of your oil change appointments is important year round, but especially important leading into the winter months. Oil that isn’t formulated for extreme winter temperatures can thicken over time, leading to engine damage. Switching to a low-velocity oil that flows quicker through your engine will help to protect from wear and even improve fuel economy.
While you are gearing up to get your home ready for winter, be sure to spend some time clearing out space in your garage for your car. Keeping your car safely tucked into your garage will save you time in the morning since you won’t need to scrape all that pesky ice off your windows, or trudge through two feet of snow to brush off the white stuff from your car.