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Ways to Get Your Car Ready for Winter

Here are a few tips to help get your car ready for the winter.
10-1 Winter
Photo by Bruno Kelzer on Unsplash

Like it or not, winter is coming, so it’s time to get your vehicle prepped for the snowy season. These tips will help you and your car during the colder months.

Check your block heater

A must in Canada is checking your block heater before the weather gets truly frigid. You can use a multimeter to check if your block heater is working before it gets cold. This option is much better than plugging your car in and then discovering it still won’t start in the morning.

Get your winter tires ready

Winter driving needs winter tires, especially in parts of the country with lots of snow. Make sure that you get an appointment to have your tires swapped out once the temperature is consistently below 7⁰C. Note that this is a higher temperature than most people think of as when to get their tires switched.

Remember also that tires labelled as “all season” and for mud and snow can be used, they aren’t recommended. Vehicles need the better traction and control that come with dedicated winter tires.

Get an emergency kit together

Getting stranded isn’t something we plan but it’s something that happens. If you drive outside major urban areas during the winter, pack an emergency kit. It should include the following:

  • Matches/lighter
  • A thick blanket
  • First aid supplies
  • Booster cables
  • A small shovel
  • An ice scraper and snow brush
  • A flashlight
  • Some non-perishable snacks

A battery pack for your phone can also be a good idea, but you will need to frequently recharge it as it will lose power in the cold. You can buy kits that contain most of the above or make it yourself. Either way, you should be prepared for an emergency before winter driving starts.

Get a tune-up and check levels for everything

Before the temperature drops, it pays to take your vehicle in for a general tune-up. They can usually do this at the same time as swapping out your tires. This can ensure your car is in the right shape for the season ahead.

Around this time, you should also check levels for everything. Oil, windshield wiper fluid, coolant levels and everything else should be checked to make sure they’re at the right levels.

Swap out your windshield wipers

Your wipers do a lot of heavy lifting in the winter. It’s always a good idea to swap them out for new ones before the snow hits. Ideally, get wipers designed to deal with snow and ice.

Happy driving!

These tips will help you be better prepared for this winter season. Remember to be extra cautious when driving in the winter, giving yourself lots of extra space to brake just in case you hit a patch of ice or snow.

CPC-logoThis story was made possible by our Community Partners Program. Thank you Davis Chevrolet for helping to expand local news coverage in Alberta. Learn more
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