Preparing your Vehicle for Winter
The snow might not be flying yet, but it doesn’t hurt to get a head start on preparing your vehicle for winter. Here are some tips compliments of our Facebook fans and the experts here at Great Canadian Oil Change.
Stock your vehicle with these items for winter:
- Winter survival kit. Suggested items include candles, a blanket or thermal blanket, winter gloves and toques, energy bars, AND extra clothing if going on a long trip or doing a lot of highway driving (extra jackets, pants, boots, and gloves)
- Shovel (a collapsible shovel takes less space in your trunk)
- Windshield scraper & brush
- Extra plug-in cord
- Booster cables
- Spare jack and, for those who do it yourselves, a good tool kit with torque wrench
- Cell phone charger
- Recovery rope
- Spare fluids – some do-it-yourselfers keep spare fluids in the trunk or tool box in a milk crate lined in a garbage bag (washer fluid, power steering fluid, etc.)
- Flash light (check frequently that the batteries work)
- Roadside Assistance Emergency Service phone numbers & cards
Maintenance BEFORE Winter Sets In
Take care of these before the winter starts:
- Check that your block heater plug works
- Check that your command start works, if you have one
- Put air in the spare tire
- Check and adjust the air pressure in all the tires
- Test your battery and clean the battery posts so that even on those extra cold cold days you can get the car running
- Check the radiator coolant fluid (anti-freeze) and have a service done if needed
- Put winter fluid in your windshield washer reservoir
- Check that all fluids are winter fluids
- Getting a tune-up OR a winter maintenance check OR at least a multi-point inspection such as the one that comes with your oil change at Great Canadian Oil Change
- Consider putting nitrogen in your tires if you do not have winter tires. Our expert adds “Winter tires are far superior to all season tires after temperatures drop below 7 degrees. Nitrogen performs better in all season tires because temp fluctuations do not effect the tire pressures as easily. “
- Install winter tires if you have them. If you do not, consider getting some!
- Test out the heaters, defrosters and wipers. If something is not working, get it fixed before winter sets in.
- Get an oil change to be sure the oil you have in your car is the kind that is best for your car for winter
- Look under your vehicle to find a place for a recovery rope so that if you are ever stuck you know where it is
- Make sure your spare tire holder is functional
Periodic Maintenance Tips for your vehicle during the winter season:
- Check and adjust air pressure in all tires regularly. Air pressure fluctuates between warmer and cooler temperatures. Our expert adds that to get the most accurate tire air pressure reading, check the tires when they are cold (when they have been at rest), not right after driving around
- Before going on a major trip or on the highway, do a quick check that everything in your emergency kit is stocked and working (like flashlight batteries)
- Keep your gas tank at least 1/2 full during the winter – you never know how much gas you will use up idling while the car is warming up or in keeping the car warm if you are stranded for a period of time
Here are the most creative suggestions from our FaceBook fans on how to get ready for winter:
- Park the car in the garage and go on a long winter vacation
A few more tips from Great Canadian Oil Change
Advance preparation using the suggestions above can prevent or alleviate emergency situations that might occur in the cold of winter.
Drop by (our hours) for multi-point inspection along with an oil change or aother service. Here is a list of services we offer. We check your lights and can replace the bulbs for you. We also replace wiper blades if you choose!
With your vehicle all set for the season, that’s one less worry for you. Enjoy the beauty of the winter while keeping nice & warm!