According to Environment Canada’s meteorologists, this winter season will produce more snow and colder conditions than what we’ve normally experienced in Southern Ontario over the past couple of years. The rest of Ontario will also experience more wintery conditions this year but not as drastic as the predictions for the GTA and Southern Ontario in general.
With colder temperatures on the way and snowy and icy weather conditions following shortly after, we must prepare our cars for the Canadian winter. Here are a few things that you should consider:
- Winterize your car: Although the phrase may be generic, there are several things that your local dealer or favourite service facility does to your car to ensure that it is ready for winter. Items such as winter motor oil, radiator coolant, transmission oil, differential oil, nitrogen for the tires, thermostat inspection, etc must be addressed before the winter. If you don’t do these things, you may get away with a problem-free winter (if your car is newer) but if your car is older, look out – something may go awry this winter and it might’ve been preventable.
- Detailed Clean Up: Get your car professionally cleaned and detailed before and after winter. The job should include a professional wax job that will protect your car from the road salt as well as the acid that is found in snowflakes (not unlike acid rain). Have your alloy rims waxed as well; this will protect the wheels from pitting caused by road salt. A clean/shampooed interior (carpets and fabric) will deal with winter salt and dirt a great deal better than a dirty interior.
- Winter Tires: If you have winter tires, put them on either in the middle or late November (depending on the regional snowfall habits of where you work or live).
- Winter Safety Kit: We’ve all heard of these kits that save many lives every winter, but we often don’t get around to buying one and putting it in our trunk or backseat. These kits are lifesavers that include: warm gloves, jumper cables, flares, candles, a blanket, a flashlight, hand/feet warmer pads and other items that are very important if you have car troubles in the winter. These kits can be purchased for between $30.00 and $40.00 – a worthwhile investment.
- A Shovel: Put a full-size decent shovel in your trunk (the biggest shovel that will fit). A shovel will help you when you are stuck in deep snow, it will help a stranded motorist and it is an excellent tool if there is in excess of one cm of ice on your windshield from a storm.
- Buy a Newer Car: Often people say "I’m going to get a new car in the spring" as they try to milk a winter season out of their 10+ year old car. It may be wise to get one sooner to avoid risking your life and the lives of your passengers while driving an older unreliable car in the winter – when a car should be at its best.
There are other things that you can do to prepare your car for winter but if you follow the first five things or consider the sixth option, you should be just fine this season. If you are looking to upgrade your car, consider taking over a lease or a finance contract through LeaseBusters.com or FinanceBusters.com.
Happy winter motoring… Bookmark this site.