With the seasons changing, you might be curious exactly what you should be doing to get your vehicle ready for the ice, snow, and cold. The good news is, there’s plenty you can do to help ensure your drive is as safe and comfortable as possible during the dark winter months. We’ve put together a handy cheat-sheet for you to follow when the dry roads and warm weather begin to disappear in the rear-view mirror.
Get Winter Tires
You’ll hear this one a lot in Canada, but the fact is it’s true. When compared to summer or all-season tires, winter tires are superior on any surface in the cold. They’ve been designed to give enhanced gripping power when the temperature dips below 7 degrees, and when you’re trying to get around a corner or hit the brakes on a snowy or icy surface you’ll be happy to have them. That’s true for you 4×4 drivers too—four-wheel drive is great right up until all four wheels are struggling for traction! So order yourself some winter tires, and book an appointment to get them installed.
Time for a Seasonal Check-Up
While you’re getting your winter tires mounted on your ride, you should also book yourself in for a tune-up. Maintenance is important year-round, but right before the winter it’s good to make sure aspects of your vehicle like your battery and brakes are in still in working order. At the same time, a service technician can make sure all your vehicle’s fluids (like antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid) are topped off, and winter-appropriate. Speaking of which, when you go to change your vehicle’s oil before the winter, you might consider switching to a lower viscosity oil, to help during the cold weather.
Have Your Winter Accessories Ready
There are plenty of winter accessories available for most types of vehicle, and now’s the time to make sure they’re installed and working correctly. This can include simple things like putting winter mats in the car, or making sure you have a snow-brush on-hand. If you’ve got them, now’s the time to double-check that your remote starter, heated seats, and block heater are working. Are you the winter sporting type? Consider throwing a roof rack or storage box on your vehicle to save the interior (and your winter sporting gear) from damage. If you’re missing something, or a winter accessory isn’t working, it’s better to catch it now, before the deep-freeze sets in!
Make a Winter Emergency Kit
We’re Canadians, and we’re all pretty used to the winter conditions, but the fact is it can get downright dangerous out there! With that in mind, it’s a good idea to have a winter emergency kit stashed in your vehicle—just in case. This should include both a few things to help you get your vehicle back on the road, and a few things to keep you warm (and alive!) in the cold. A few good items to have on hand include:
- Booster cables
- Tire chains
- Windshield washer fluid
- Tow rope
- Ice scraper
- Flares (with a lighter or matches)
- Flashlight (wind-up, or some spare batteries)
- Bag of salt, gravel or non-clumping kitty litter
- First-aid kit
- Extra winter clothes and boots
- Water (in plastic bottles that won’t break if they freeze)
- Non-perishable food (nuts or granola bars)
Of course, if you need help getting your vehicle winter-ready, your friends here at Go Auto Don Mills Chrysler have your back! Just book an appointment with our service department, and our team will help you get prepared to brave the worst the Great White North can throw at you!