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Winter Vehicle Maintenance Tips

Published on February 20, 2014 by in Blog

Keeping your vehicle running smoothly in the winter can not only be a chore, but can sometimes get to be too much to handle. Not to mention Canadian winters are particularly harsh and unforgiving, meaning that you’ll have to work extra hard to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape. However, there are some simple things that you can do to ensure your vehicle’s safe and sound throughout the snowy months. Here are a few great tips that are sure to save you a whole lot of headaches and swearing this winter season.

Winter Tires

Despite what you may think, all-season tires do not really mean all seasons. If you’re going to be driving in the winter, you should have a solid set of winter tires on your vehicle. Having proper winter treads will not only make it safer to drive, but it will save lots of needless wear and tear on your other tires, as well. Go see your mechanic as soon as winter is about to hit to get your tires changed, or better yet take an auto mechanic course so you can do it yourself and save a bit of cash.

Check Your Antifreeze

Check your antifreeze levels and do it regularly – much more regularly than you think you ought to – because your car freezing up is one of the worst things that can possibly happen to it. Don’t worry, you don’t need to have auto mechanic training to do this; just locate your vehicle’s manual and it’ll guide you through it. Always keep a spare jug in the trunk, just in case. You should also be aware of the temperature your antifreeze stops working, because depending on where you live, what you think is enough, might not be enough.

Your Battery

Check your battery often, and keep a spare one handy, because the winter can be merciless on them. Batteries are much more likely to run out in winter, and your car will be harder and take longer to start in the winter, putting extra strain on it. This means you should be extra cautious about leaving your lights on, or using too much juice when the engine’s not running. Any transport training Canada offers will hound you on the importance of proper battery care.

Be Wary of Your Gas Tank

In summer, you can usually take the chance and try and make it home when the gas light comes on – as long as it’s not too far – but in winter, taking that risk could leave you stranded on the side of the road, freezing. Plus, if you do run out of gas and get stranded, that means you’ve got nothing to keep you warm. Be sure to pack some blankets and supplies in the trunk, just in case.

Get a Block Heater

Block heaters are great tools to have on your side in the winter and make starting your car much easier – in fact, they usually come standard on diesel cars, which are notoriously hard to start in the winter months. They’re a small engine heater that can plug into a standard outlet, which helps heat up the engine and get it purring fast.

So there you go, as long as you keep a level head about it, and make sure that you pay attention to all of the little details, you should get through the winter without any big snafus. Keep warm out there!

 
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