Just as you prepare yourself and your house to protect it from the cold, your car needs extra preparation to make it through the winter as well. This winter, make sure your car is as prepared as you are. Old or not, cars need attention.
If anything, ask yourself when you last checked these items. The last thing you need is to get stranded on the highway with the family during the middle of winter. There's no getting around winter. Instead of dreading it, prepare for it. The changing of the seasons is a great time to check out what your car needs to gear up for cold, wet, winter driving conditions. Do this before the first flake falls because small problems you ignored during warmer months could grow worse, leaving you stranded when the temperature plummets. A few simple tips could keep your car running all winter long.
Take your car to Sasha Auto and check out the following:
1. Inspect your antifreeze while your engine is cold by using a tester to check the mixture for its freeze point. A 50/50 ratio means 50% distilled water and 50% antifreeze, which is sufficient in most climates, except in extreme cold.
2. Make sure your brake system is in good condition. Ask mechanics in Sasha Auto to check your brake pads, brake links, brake discs, and top up a brake fluid. It is important to have a good working brake system especially when the road looks like a glass in winter time.
3. Have your charging system checked at Sasha Auto Centre. Cold weather starts make the vehicle battery work much harder and getting stranded in the cold is no fun!
4. Change your oil and oil filter. Clean, high quality engine oil goes a long way in protecting the motor in cold start situations. Use the oil recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
5. Visually inspect all lights; marker bulbs, tail lights, third level brake lights, especially headlights and driving lights. Daylight savings time requires bulbs to work longer hours.
6. Tire Tread condition; check it yourself, or have it checked. Winter driving requires good traction in snow and ice. Quality tire tread sheds the snow, ice and road grime more quickly, providing better traction for improved safety. Check your tire pressure regularly, especially in colder temperatures. Follow the recommended PSI found on the driver’s side door post for maximum traction.
7. Visibility is key to your safety; make sure that your wiper blades are in top condition, to fully clear your windshield, and back window if the vehicle is equipped. Road salt and slush can jeopardize visibility. Use washer fluid containing de-icer and Rain-X Treatment on windows to avoid the chiseling of ice early in the morning.
8. Inspect your engine’s belts and hoses. Cracked, frayed or worn out rubber won’t stand up to temperature extremes.
9. Replace the Cabin Air Filter if the vehicle is equipped. Outside contaminants from Fall and Summer driving are stranded in the cabin air filter and running the heater on “high” in the extreme cold only sends the micro-particles deeper into the vehicle.
10. Protect your vehicle’s paint. Rain, snow and salt are extremely tough on paint. A tough coating of quality car wax will add another barrier in-between road grime and your vehicle’s paint.
You should also prepare a roadside emergency kit including a flashlight with fresh batteries, a blanket, foodbars, water bottles, cell phone, jumper cables, flares, Fix-a-Flat, HELP Sign, and a first aid kit.
Make sure you don’t miss any of the above points. It’s help you protect yourself and your family on the road in winter time.