Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter in British Columbia

October 24,2022

With the winter season approaching, it’s time to give some thought to winterizing your vehicle.
Your car will need a cold weather makeover if you want your car to be in its optimum operating condition for when you’re using it in the winters. While it goes without saying that one should invest in winter tires, it’s sufficed to say that slips, accidents and mishaps are unavoidable in the winters – you can take effective steps to minimize damage with this checklist.

Consider Winter Tires

Winter tires provide substantially more snow traction than all-season tires, enabling you to drive faster from a stop sign and practically halve your stopping distance. Even on ice, winter tires perform better than ordinary tires, stopping you quicker and reducing side slips. Winter tires improve traffic safety by giving drivers increased traction in icy, snowy, and slushy conditions. Before mounting the tires, check for wear and occasionally check the tire pressure as tires lose air pressure in cold weather. 

Keep Your Car Battery Charged

Car batteries have a limited lifespan. Waiting for yours to fail when you need it in case of emergencies is not advisable. The battery, starter, and overall charging system can all be inspected with a computerized battery tester. A digital battery tester gives you a detailed view of the battery’s overall health by measuring conductance and internal resistance in addition to voltage. The tester will also let you know if the starter and alternator in your car is working properly.

Lubricate Window Tracks

Frozen water may leak into the window tracks and create drag when you attempt to open them. This results in the window regulator cables being damaged. You can avoid this problem by lubricating the window tracks with silicone or dry Teflon spray lubricant. You don’t want to be stuck with open windows during the winter season!

Switch to Winter Wiper Blades

Regular wiper blades can become clogged with snow, making them miss or smear large areas of your windshield. Winter wiper blades solve that problem. A rubber boot covers the entire blade, preventing ice and snow from packing. They significantly increase visibility and make driving in the winter safer. Having visibility during the winters is very important, as it will help you to see the roads and avoid any mishaps or accidents while on the road.

Assemble a Winter Survival Kit

Keeping an emergency kit on hand in case of emergencies will undoubtedly be a blessing. When your tires are stuck in the snow, some salt and a snow shovel will go a long way. A blanket will help in staying warm and bottles of water will keep you hydrated. A candle heater, flashlight, phone charger, a notepad along with a pen or a pencil, simple tool kit and a first aid kit are a must on road trips in the winter. Also, keep a few packets of food with you while on the road to help boost your energy levels and to help curb hunger. 

Check the tire depth.

Winter driving and worn tires make for a particularly hazardous mix. They lengthen your stopping distance and reduce your driving stability on slick surfaces. Even though most states have a 2/32-inch minimum tread depth requirement, independent tests have proven that tire traction drastically declines as your tires degrade past 4/32-in. On tires with little tread, you can try to get by during the winter, but all you’ll be doing is sliding. At five mph, a single skid against the curb can easily ruin suspension and steering parts worth $1,500. Yes, insurance will cover it. However, you’ll be responsible for the deductible, and your premiums will go up for years because the accident will be considered as your fault.

You can swap for winter tires or buy new tires for around the price of one deductible to prevent slip-and-fall incidents. Use a tire tread depth gauge to measure your tread depth. Verify each tire’s center and outside edges for tread depth.

Check your coolant

Your engine’s coolant serves more purposes than just keeping it from freezing and cracking. Coolant also includes water-pump lubricants and anti-corrosive chemicals to keep your entire cooling system in peak condition.

Use a tester to check your coolant’s level of freeze protection. Read the results on the scale displayed on the tester after sucking in some coolant from the coolant reservoir. Don’t stop there, though. If a coolant passes freeze protection tests, additives may offer protection.

Lube your Door Locks:

If your car has remote keyless entry, you probably don’t use the door and trunk locks very often, but that doesn’t mean you should disregard them. The lock cylinders will rust if you don’t keep them greased, which will prevent you from using your key. You’ll be locked out and need to hire a locksmith if the battery in your key fob ever dies.

Lock cylinders for doors and trunks can be easily lubricated. If you don’t go overboard, injecting graphite lock lubricant into the keyway works great. Another choice is dry Teflon spray lubricant. Shake the spray can to disperse the Teflon and propel the liquid into the lock cylinder. Any sticky components will dissolve in the solution. The interior lock components will be covered in Teflon particles once the solvent evaporates, enabling the lock to function without difficulty.

Keep the gas tank full.

A gas tank with a lot of space may start to collect moisture, diluting the fuel and putting additional stress on the pumps and other parts of your car. And if the accumulating moisture freezes, the damage might be even worse. This makes keeping a full tank throughout the winter necessary. A temperature difference between the inside and the outside of the gas tank causes water droplets to form in the headspace of the tank and drip down into the fuel.

The more gas in the tank, the less water build up there is. In cars that won’t be driven regularly over the winter, a full tank can help prevent interior moisture damage.

For more details, tips and tricks on how to winterize your vehicle and stay safe this winter, contact us at Skaha Ford. We provide the best winter tires along with a perfect fit for any budget.

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