Car care for the winter months
Slipping, sliding and skidding are all a part of the daily commute for many Calgarians in the wintertime.
Although you can never fully prepare for what might happen out there on the unpredictable Calgary roads, there are some things you can do to winterize your vehicle. “Winterization inspections are important because the seasons we live in require attention to protect your investment,” said Ty Doerksen the service manager at Shaganappi Motors.
Here are five tips that might make your trip easier this up coming winter:
1. Buying a good set of winter tires is the most important thing you can do to ensure your safety on the road. The only thing that connects your car to the road is your tires, which is why it’s important to keep as much contact with the road as possible. The soft rubber of winter tires helps the tire bite down on snow and ice and helps ensure grip when cornering. Although initially expensive, paying the price for four good winter tires allows you to be able to re-use these tires for two to three winters.
2. When the temperatures start to drop, don’t be left out in the cold without the battery power to start your car. It’s important that you keep your battery charged throughout the winter. A cheap way to do this is by buying a small battery charger. They automatically shut off when your battery power is full. Another good tip is to make sure your battery is up to the job by checking its cold cranking amps. The higher the number, the more power you will have to start your car on cold winter mornings.
3. Checking your fluids is an important step in maintaining your vehicle’s performance. Flushing your antifreeze every year or two will go a long way to help your engine perform on cold days while sitting in traffic. Check all fluids at the beginning of winter and replace them with the appropriate type of fluid made for your car. Keeping a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water will help protect your vehicle down to around -40 C.
4. Water and other elements have a sneaky way of getting into the fuel system of your car. Water that is at the bottom of your fuel tank or in the gas lines of your car can freeze. One way of stopping this is by adding a fuel additive called gas line antifreeze. As well as keeping your gas lines free it also helps clean the fuel injection system which in turn will save you some money at the pump.
5. Visibility is a necessity when driving in the winter. Check to make sure your wiper blades are working properly and replace them if necessary. Keeping your windshield washer fluid topped up and carrying some extra in the trunk of your car will help you see traffic more clearly.