Get ready for another Great Canadian Winter with Canadian Tire! Besides pulling out our winter coats and cozy socks, preparing our biggest investments for winter is key. Let’s cover the best ways to prepare your automobile for old man winter. We love working with great Canadian companies and are very excited to be partnered with Canadian Tires in Penticton, Kamloops, Nanaimo and Hillside Victoria.
Ensure Your Battery is Ready
Cold weather is hard on your vehicle, especially after sitting overnight in sub-zero temperatures. Is your battery going to give you grief as it gets colder? Here’s how to see if it’s ready and ensure you aren’t left in the lurch:
- Test the electrical system by starting the car and turning on your headlights. If your lights flicker or do not turn on, your electrical system may need some help. Turning on your radio is a good indicator of how the electrical system in your vehicle is functioning. Lights can short in and out, but if your radio is functioning, your electrical system is in good working order.
- Get your battery tested by professionals so you aren’t caught out in the cold.Use a digital multimeter to test your battery (see #3) or if you prefer to have a professional test your battery, give the team at Canadian Tire a call.
- A fully charged car battery should measure 12.6 volts or above. When the engine is running it should measure between 13.7 – 14.7 volts. To test this, you need to use a multimeter (which measures the voltage of your battery). Digital multimeters retail for $15 – $45 at Canadian Tire.
Be Prepared for Anything That Comes Your Way
In the event of a breakdown it’s important to have winter essentials such as an ice and snow scraper while also ensuring your winter safety kit is in your vehicle at all times:
- Safety blanket
- Road flares
- Ice scraper
- Jumper cables
- First-aid kit
- Non-perishable food items
- Extra windshield washer fluid
- Sandbags will prevent your vehicle from shifting in slushy or slippery conditions, giving you more traction
Winter Tires for Winter Roads
Take action before the snow falls and install your winter tires to keep you safe on the winter roads. Winter tires are the most important factor for staying safe on snow and ice covered winter roads. They are made with a different rubber than summer tires,
allowing them to have better grip in cold temperatures which gives you better traction and confidence in snow or icy conditions. Have a discussion with the tire experts at Canadian Tire to determine which tires are right for your vehicle and driving conditions.
Keep Your Car in Shape with Fluid Top Ups
Another item to check off your list before winter is your fluids under the hood. Topping up your fluids keeps your vehicle running smoothly and prevents issues. Key fluids to have topped up for winter are antifreeze, transmission fluid, oil, brake fluid and windshield washer fluid.
- Antifreeze keeps an engine from overheating. To make your coolant, it is best to use a 50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze. Too much or too little antifreeze adjusts the boiling and freezing points significantly.
- Transmission fluid keeps your transmission lubricated and cool, prevents gears from grinding, and ensures smooth shifting between gears.
- Changing oil removes sludge from your engine, improves gas mileage and ensures your vehicle is in top operating condition.
- Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid which means it is used to transfer force (of your foot on the pedal) into pressure and ensure braking force. Brake fluid ensures a vehicle is able to stop safely.
- Windshield washer fluid is important to keep your windows clean and clear of debris, dirt, snow and slush. If you are out of windshield washer fluid, it can be nearly impossible to see clearly out your windshield.
Engines can have a difficult time starting in the winter, and your battery can too. Battery capacity is diminished by the cold weather, so doing a thorough inspection of your battery, cables and fluids is important prior to the seasons changing.
New Season, New Windshield Wipers
Visibility is vital to remaining safe on winter roads and new windshield wipers make this possible. Windshield wipers are one of the most inexpensive and easiest parts of a vehicle to maintain. Keep in mind that each make and model of a vehicle requires specific wipers, so check your manual for details.
Five questions to determine if you need new windshield wipers:
- Do your wipers leave streaks across your windshield?
- Do your wipers squeak as they cross from left to right?
- Do your wipers sound like nails on a chalkboard?
- Do your wipers skip and only clean every other line?
- Are your wipers missing large chunks of rubber?
If you answered yes to any of the above, it may be time for new wipers. Even if your wipers are fine now, the wear and tear of the winter season can rapidly damage regular wipers. There are specific windshield wipers made for the winter season! Winter blades have a sturdier frame, no latticework and have one solid moving part ensuring there are fewer spots to be clogged by ice. These blades have better flex because of the protective coating, which enables your wipers to be better suited for the winter weather elements. Winter blades have synthetic rubber that stays flexible and soft no matter the temperature. Head over to Canadian Tire and grab yourself a pair – your vehicle will thank you!
Ensure your automobile is ready for winter this year; you can find everything from windshield wipers, car batteries and fluids, jumper cables and winter tires at Canadian Tire. With several locations across British Columbia and Alberta, it’s easy to find a Canadian Tire near you.