These 5 Winter Car Tips and Vehicle Maintenance Tips Can Help Keep You Safe
Winter driving is no fun. Snow, sleet, ice, poor visibility, roaring cold outside with only the air conditioning keeping that cold at bay – it’s tough. You need your car to be tougher. These winter car tips and vehicle maintenance tips will help you prepare your car for the winter so that you can, most importantly, stay safe, and secondly, avoid being stuck at the side of the road in the middle of a blizzard waiting for hours for help to arrive. In that spirit, let’s get to the four winter car tips that can help keep your car rolling through this winter.
1. Get Your Car Checked and Serviced
The first thing you need to do is make sure that the car is up to the task of handling these gruelling winter months. You should generally get your car serviced every six months anyways, but it’s especially important to time these checks near the beginning of winter. The colder months bring with them a whole different set of challenges for your car. There are a lot of moving parts in your machine, and a qualified mechanic in your area would be able to offer winter car maintenance tips that ensure your vehicle will make it to spring. As for servicing, taking your car to a professional auto service shop will help you get prepared for the coming inclement weather. They should check:
Your brakes don’t change during winter, but it’s critical – perhaps even more so than usual – that they are functioning appropriately. When road conditions are slippery and wet, your brakes working as they should can literally be a life saver.
The winter weather can drain your battery and leave you . . . well, out in the cold. This means that your battery needs to be winter capable and tested. A battery of about 600 CCA or above should be enough for winter.
Coolants and Antifreeze
You’ll want to hit a ratio of between 50/50 and 70/30 antifreeze to water. A car repair technician will be able to tell you what the best antifreeze for your car is and also help you get the right ratio for your particular vehicle.
Many people opt for winter during these months for added protection. Regardless, you should have your tires tested by experts to make sure that they have the appropriate pressure and are suitable for winter conditions.
Checking your oil to make sure that it’s at the appropriate level. Also a good idea to make use of the oil that’s best for your specific vehicle. You can search this up in your manual or see a car service repair shop for more information.
The outside world is cold enough in winter – no need to drag that frost in with you. Your heater needs to be checked so that it doesn’t break down during the next few months. Remember that winter months can be especially busy at auto repair shops, so you’ll want to get things checked on before an issue can appear.
Your radiator needs to be checked so that a leak doesn’t occur and cause the transmission to fail. This is especially dangerous in winter as the cold weather can cause freezing and damage the radiator if it’s not properly checked and attended to.
2. Keep an Emergency Kit in Your Car at All Times
With all those proactive checks out of the way, your car should be good to go. But that doesn’t mean that you’re fully prepared to face the winter months; things can still break down even with diligent servicing and maintenance. An emergency kit in your car will make sure that, no matter what, you’ll have the essentials on hand. Things to include:
Probably won’t need any of it, but better to have and not need than need and not have, as all good dads say.
3. Park Indoors
There are a few common reasons that cars break down during winter, and leaving it out overnight in the cold is the cause of many of them. Dead batteries, broken radiators, car too frozen to start, etc., there’s just a lot that can go wrong. It’s a good idea to park indoors overnight when you can.
4. Start Your Car Regularly
If you, say, leave for vacation for a couple weeks to somewhere sunny to get out of the cold, you’ll want to make sure (if possible) that someone can come over and start your car during those days you’re gone. Just a few minutes every day can help keep your battery charged. Otherwise, you may come home to a car that doesn’t start, and that’s the last thing you want on your first day back to work from vacation.
5. Take Your Car to the Nearest Mufflerman
A lot can go wrong with your car during winter. And the consequences of a breakdown during these months are more dire due to the extreme weather. Let’s not start off 2023 on the wrong foot; go to your nearest Mufflerman and get all the servicing described above at any of our leading auto repair shops. Our teams are made up of qualified experts who know cars inside and out. They’ll be able to identify issues that other mechanics might miss so you can be sure your vehicle won’t run into any problems during these colder months. We’ll explain all the winter car maintenance tips in detail – and even provide a few others we didn’t have the space here to include. Google ‘mechanic near me’, ‘auto shop near me’ ‘auto repair near me’, or ‘Mufflerman near me’ to find the nearest qualified mechanics. We provide services across Ontario and it would be our honour to help you prepare your vehicle for winter.