Winter Car Maintenance Tips

It’s that time of year with winter season around the corner. Different vehicles have their individual car maintenance schedules developed by the manufacturer which you can normally find in your glove box. But here are some general information provided by Car Care Canada to ensure your vehicle is safe and sound for the winter.

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Car Maintenance Tips

Check your tires. Car Care Canada suggests winter tires are a must. Motorists in much of the country face harsh weather conditions. Be prepared for that first snow storm or a quick drop in temperature.

Check your tire treads and pressure. Tire tread condition is crucial when driving on ice and snow. Make sure to check inflation also, make sure to check the tire pressure of the spare tire.

Cooling System. The cooling system is one of the most important things to watch in your vehicle during the winter time. There are two things: the concentration of the coolant and the amount. In most parts of Canada, a 50/50 mix of coolant, water keeps the coolant from freezing, lubricates the water pump and protects the cooling system from corrosion. In very cold areas, it may be necessary to increase the concentration of coolant. But never more than 30% water. Also, coolant should be flushed and refilled at least every 2 years in most vehicles.

Heaters, Defrosters and Wipers. Wiper blades that are cracked or torn, or that chatter, streak and don’t properly clean your windshield should be replaced. Some manufacturers offer special winter blades that have a rubber boot covering the arm assembly to keep snow and ice out. When changing the blades, have the windshield wiper system nozzles cleaned and adjusted if necessary and check the windshield washer reservoir in case it needs fluids.

Check Battery and Charging System for Optimum Performance. Very cold temperatures will reduce a vehicles’ battery power so its important to keep the connections clean, tight and corrosion-free. Unfortunately batteries don’t always give warning signs before they fail completely. If your vehicle’s battery is more than 3 years old, it’s wise to replace it. When choosing a replacement, make sure the new one has adequate capacity for your exact make and model.

Change Your Oil. Check the owner’s manual to see if you are considered “severe”. If so, have the oil changed accordingly. Usually every 5000-8000 kilometers. Note, most Canadians qualify for “severe” conditions, which means you drive in stop and go traffic, in mountainous terrain or other conditions that increase wear and tear on your vehicle. Have your service technician check the fuel, air, and transmission filters at the same time. Always consult your vehicle’s owners manual.

Keep Your Gas Tank at Least Half Full. This tip limits condensation in your tank and reduces gas-line freezing. Adding a little gasoline anti freeze every second fill up will also help prevent gas line freezing.

Check The Brakes. This breaking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item and brakes are a normal wear and tear item that sooner or later will need to be replaced.

Check The Exhaust System For Carbon Monoxide Leaks. Leaks can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed. Regular exhaust system checks are critical to maintain a safe vehicle.

Car Maintenance Tips

Lastly, on tips on car maintenance, an annual vehicle inspection can detect a problem before it turns into a costly expenditure. Safety hazard or even worse a terminal illness.

By: Car Care Canada.