How To Winterize Your Car for a Canadian Winter

As we look towards the colder months, at the top of many Canadians' minds is how to prepare their car for winter. As the temperature drops, snow and ice appear, ultimately bringing out the return of bad driving conditions.

Any change of season is an excellent time to review the condition of your vehicle. Although it can be tempting to put off this task until the first snowfall hits, preparing your car in advance will help to avoid long wait times and keep you safe.

This blog will highlight the key areas of your vehicle you will want to prepare for the winter. Check out our tips below.

Check the Antifreeze

Before you can feel the chill of winter, make sure your antifreeze (coolant) is ready to prevent freezing during these cold Canadian months. If your coolant does freeze, it can cause severe damage to a range of internal engine components.  

Using an antifreeze tester, draw an adequate amount of antifreeze and check the ratio the tester displays. Compare that ratio to the manufacturer's recommended ratio for your area. If the balance is off, drain the coolant and replace it with the correct mixture or take the vehicle to a service center and have them do it for you.  

Install Winter Tires

The first winter task for your car that usually comes to mind. Canadian winters and winter tires come hand in hand, as some provinces even require them by law during certain times of the year when road conditions are at their worst.

Before mounting your winter tires, check and adjust the tire pressure to the recommended air pressure listed in the owner's manual. Also, it’s essential to make sure to check the tread depth. If it’s low, you will want to replace them with new winter tires.

While some may have no problem getting their hands dirty and changing the tires over themselves, if you are like most people, getting your tires changed at a trusted tire shop is preferred, make sure to book your appointment well in advance because there will be a long wait as soon as the first snowfall hits.

Check Your Brakes

Faulty brakes with ice and snow on the road are every driver’s worst nightmare. Snow, water and ice can all find their way into the brake pads and rotors and provide consistent damage over the season. 

To feel more secure on the roads leading into the winter season, take your car to a trusted mechanic to confirm your brakes are ready to take on the winter road conditions.

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Check Wiper Blades

Hello winter, hello snow and rain. Not only will your wipers be wiping away snow and rain, but the rubber blades will also deal with the blistering cold temperatures, ice and salt from the road.

Check your blades early to avoid streaking or skipping windshield wiper blades.

Service Your Battery

Did you know that the average life of a car battery in Canada is under five years? Car batteries work the hardest during harsh winters, so if your battery is coming close to that fifth anniversary, ensure it is checked to avoid an unexpected failure.

Give Your Vehicle a Deep Clean and Be Emergency Prepared

This is your friendly reminder to do a deep clean of your vehicle. It’s not often a task we want to do, but if you are stranded in an emergency during winter, you won’t want to dig out garbage while surrounded by snow and frigid temperatures.

Also, ensure your emergency car kit is restocked and ready for winter, complete with a warm blanket, toque, and mittens to keep you warm in an emergency.

Get your vehicle in tip-top shape for winter