As much as most Canadians don’t want to hear this, it needs to be said; winter is coming. For most parts of Canada, we get that first big snowfall in early November and people scurry to get their summer tires off. But the reality is, over the next 6 months we’re going to have many more heavy snowfalls and you’re going to want to ensure you and your vehicle are prepared. In this article, we’re going to tell you about 5 things to do to prepare your car for winter.
1. Put on Your Winter Tires
As we said in our introduction, most Canadians don’t put on their winter tires until it’s too late. This can be problematic because the moment a snowfall happens, everyone rushes to the garage to get them changed and this causes delays. Because of these delays, you may be forced to drive on your summer tires through rough winter road conditions. So we usually recommend getting your winter tires on before that first snowfall hits, meaning-making the switch to winter tires in mid-October. Winter tires are designed to be more flexible as they’re made with soft rubber, allowing more control on the road.
2. Check Your Battery
The second thing you need to do is make sure your battery is fit to last the entirety of winter. Typically car batteries last around 3-5 years if you take good care of them, but at around the 4-year mark, you should consider replacing it before the beginning of winter. Freezing cold temperatures can take a toll on car batteries, so if your battery is weak going into the winter, the cold temperatures could kill it for good. A couple of things you can do to check if your battery is needing replacing is seeing if there is any corrosion on the battery or if it takes a few seconds for the car to turn over.
3. Fill Up Your Fluids
Before the winter starts, you NEED to make sure you’ve got all of your fluids topped up. This can be as easy as taking your car into a garage or dealership and having all of your fluids checked and topped up where necessary. You need to make sure that your coolant level is appropriate and you have enough antifreeze to clear your windshield of snow and ice.
4. Prepare a Survival Kit
Too many Canadians pass on making a survival kit for their car, but when the time comes when you need it, you’ll wish you had one. The items in this kit will help prepare you for just about any situation you may encounter. Here’s a list of 10 items you’ll want to include in your winter survival kit:
- Ice scraper
- Spare windshield wipers
- Phone charger
- Water bottles
- First-aid kit
- Booster cables
5. Check Your Windshield Wipers
A car with a full tank of anti-freeze means nothing if your windshield wipers are crap. A good set of wipers is absolutely essential in Canadian winters. So if you notice that your wipers are old or worn down, have them replaced. Getting a new set of wipers can be as cheap as $20 so you don’t need to break the bank!