As soon as cold weather comes around, you instinctively swap your wardrobe for warm coats, scarves, and beanies. Preparing your car for winter weather should be no different.
To help you winterize your vehicle, follow these 9 tips:
Don't forget to measure your tread depth.
Tip #1: Tread depth
A tire with a tread depth below 2/32nds lacks grip. These tires are not safe for driving and must be replaced. To ensure your safety, measure the tread depth as part of your regular vehicle maintenance
Tip #2: Winter tires
When temperatures fall below 7°C, the soft rubber compound in winter tires continues to be pliable even in freezing temperatures, providing superior grip. That means that you can count on your tires performing at their best not only when it snows. They have unique attributes that mitigate the risks of snow, ice, and falling temperatures on the road
Tip #3: Check your battery
Test your battery for a proper charge, visually inspect for any signs of corrosion and replace if necessary
Tip #4: Flatspotting
It’s not uncommon for some of us to leave our cars parked for long stretches spanning weeks – sometimes even months. If you’re one of these people, you may notice a slight ride disturbance or vibration the first time you drive the car, but it will usually disappear after a few kilometers of driving. This phenomenon is known as flatspotting, a condition that occurs when a tire has been stationary under vehicle load for a prolonged period. Click here to learn more about flatspotting and how you can prevent and fix it.
Tip #5: Tire pressure
Check your tire pressure. Under inflation by 8 PSI (pounds per square inch) can increase fuel consumption by 3% and decrease the life of a tire by 25%
Be prepared for any cold weather surprises
Tip #6: Top up your fluids
When checking your vehicle's fluids, park your car on a flat level surface and ensure the engine is cold. Next, check all fluids such as oil, windshield wiper fluid, and antifreeze to be sure to use the correct ratio. Don't exceed the maximum level line!
Tip #7: Windshield wipers
There’s nothing worse than the screeching sounds of old or broken wiper blades during a heavy downpour. If your wipers are failing to clear your windshield effectively, they need replacing. It’s easy to replace your wipers, as long as you make sure to purchase the correct blades. If in doubt, ask a garage assistant or speak to your local car dealer.
Tip #8: Balancing tires
Wheels that are out-of-balance can cause uncomfortable vibrations while driving. It also results in premature wear of suspension and steering components, rotating parts, and tires. As part of routine vehicle maintenance, drivers should seek to balance the tires on their vehicle after every 5,000-10,000 km traveled, or after 1-2 years (whichever comes first).
Tip #9: Storing Tires
Knowing how to store tires after removing them from your vehicle is essential. If you don’t handle and store your tires properly, their characteristics can change. This can shorten their life. They can even deteriorate so badly in storage that they need to be replaced. But if you handle and store them correctly, they will deliver years of service – and you’ll save money!
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