October is Car Safety Month which means it's time to make sure you and your vehicle are ready for the winter season ahead. And while it may seem like it's too soon to be thinking about winter, a little car care today will go a long way toward improving the safety and dependability of your vehicle before the snow flies.
- Schedule some time with your mechanic. Take your vehicle in for a tune-up and ask your mechanic to look it over to make sure that all systems are functioning and in good repair.
- Pack an emergency kit. It's time to put your winter emergency kit into the trunk. Ideally, your kit should include first aid supplies, warm blankets, a few non-perishable food items, as well as flashlights, a folding shovel, and sand or cat litter for traction. Having a kit with these basics on hand can keep a minor roadside problem from becoming a major one—and can also help in a true emergency.
- Track down your ice scraper and brush. Along with your emergency kit, put your ice scraper and brush in the trunk too so you have it accessible when the time comes.
- Change your wiper blades. Replace worn wiper blades and top up your windshield washer solvent. With autumn comes precipitation, and you'll be happy you can see clearly.
- Ensure that your windshield is free of dings and cracks. Cold temperatures can turn a small ding in your windshield into a major crack, so if you've got a chip in your windshield it is best to get it fixed now.
- Check your tire pressure regularly. When seasons change, it's not uncommon for there to be a considerable swing in the temperature, which can have a direct impact on your tire's pressure levels. Check your tire pressure at least once a month, to ensure they're properly inflated.
- Consider winter tires. The fall is the ideal time to install your winter tires if you change them seasonally, or consider buying them if you don’t. Winter tires provide your car with more traction and handle freezing temperatures better than all-season or summer tires. They’ll help you keep control of your car and stop effectively.
- Did you know that as of January 1, 2016, all Ontario car insurance providers must offer a winter tire discount to policyholders who change their tires seasonally? Make sure your insurance provider knows about your winter tires to save about 5 percent on your premiums.
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