Winter is Here
Oh joy! With our province’s winter wonderland experience comes a familiar slew of yearly maintenance chores around our wardrobes, homes and ultimately our vehicles. Staying safe and warm during our winter commuting is a priority, so make sure you’re ready for the cold season with these simple Winter Tune Up Tips!
1. Do a Pre-Season Tune Up
One of the simplest and most helpful things you can do for your vehicle in preparation for the frigid season, is to take it for a tune-up before it actually hits. If there are existing problems with the vehicle, the less forgiving conditions tend to help things get worse before they get better. So be sure to get your vehicle checked out to prevent any nasty surprises and to make sure your vehicles heating system is working well and ready to keep you and your loved ones warm over the cold months. Schedule a Service Appointment today to have our Expert Service Team make sure your vehicle’s ready for safe and happy winter driving.
2. Check Your Fluids
Your vehicle’s fluids are vital to its operation all year around and there’s no better time than to make sure everything is topped up. Double check that your coolant levels are comfortable between your vehicle’s minimum and maximum lines, oil levels and condition look good, brake and transmission fluids are at the correct levels and do a healthy top up of your windshield washer as well.
3. Windshield 101
One key to staying safe in the winter is to ensure you have good visibility while driving. Two ways to keep your views crystal clear are to switch over to a winter washer fluid as well as change out your wiper blades for some fresh ones. Winter washer fluid is simply designed to not freeze up in cold weather as well as help melt off ice building up on your windshield. With the low temperatures and constant grime/ice on the roads, wiper blades can deteriorate fast. So make sure to change them out near the beginning of the winter months.
4. Pack an Emergency Kit
Recommended at all times but especially during the winter, you should pack an emergency kit in the trunk of your vehicle. This will often contain non-perishable food, blankets, flares, jumper cables, first aid kit, a small shovel, and other useful items should you find yourself stranded out on the road for any period of time. You can find numerous kits for purchase or assemble your own and if you need more ideas for your kit, check out our tips for Preparing a Roadside Safety Kit.
5. Check your Battery Health
The cold winter temperatures combined with the potential for your vehicle to be sitting for long periods of time can put a lot of strain on your battery. Before the winter fully sets in you should check your battery to make sure that it is free of any corrosion or wear, and that it still carries a strong charge.
6. Do an Oil Change
Similar to a battery, starting a vehicle in cold temperatures can be hard on your engine especially with old oil in it. You also want to consider getting a “winter weight” oil as it will aid in the engine’s ability to start and run with minimal issue in the cold.
7. Swap Over to Winter Tires
This is perhaps the most important tune up tip for winter on our notoriously icy Alberta roads. You want to make sure to invest in good snow tires if you can. These will help with stability, handling and safety on the icy roads of winter – the difference really is huge! If you already have good tires, you will still want to get the treads checked before winter and make sure that your alignment and balancing is appropriate as well. Check out our Guide to Winter Tires for Alberta Drivers for more information.