How To Get Your Car Ready For Winter

Tires

As fall ends and the cold weather approaches, it's time to put on your winter tires. The general rule of thumb is to change them over when the temperature drops below 7°C.

Wipers

Just as you upgrade your tires, consider using heavy-duty wipers this winter. They'll better handle the snow, and provide optimum visibility in bad weather. Another aid to improving visibility is giving your windows and mirrors a good cleaning as well, particularly on the inside, removing built up dust and grime.

Fluids

Winter-specific wiper fluid resists freezing and is formulated to clean away road salt. Always carry a spare jug so you don't run out in the middle of a storm.

Have your coolant tested to be sure it can handle cold temperatures. Coolant gradually deteriorates, and when it does, it can't adequately protect your engine and cooling system. This includes the heater core, which is extremely expensive to replace.

Battery

It's tougher for the battery to start the engine in cold weather, and one that worked in the summer might not get you through the winter. A service technician can test your battery to see if it can handle the job, and if the battery's marginal, replace it now so it doesn't leave you stranded in minus 20°C weather.

Emergency Kit

It can be a while before help arrives in a bad snowstorm. Your emergency kit should include a blanket, candles, matches, snacks, and a shovel. Extra clothing, including proper winter boots, would also be beneficial.

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