Every year, your vehicle needs to be ready for winter in British Columbia.
The last thing motorists want is to get stranded out in the cold. We need our vehicles to be safe and reliable. It’s always best to get caught up on any neglected maintenance items – but the stakes are higher during the BC winter.
There are some specific and important things that need to be checked to be ready for winter. You can do it yourself, but better still, contact The Garage in Burnaby and arrange a thorough, professional check-up.
There are some important things you need to check to make your vehicle ready for winter.
Check your antifreeze!
The most obvious is having the antifreeze checked. If it is not set correctly, it can’t properly protect your engine, radiator and hoses from freezing. If your vehicle doesn't seem to be making enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze level may be low or you could have a thermostat problem. Get it checked out at your existing service center or at The Garage in Burnaby. If you are due for a cooling system service, now is a perfect time to have it done.
Check your brakes!
In the cold months, we always worry about being able to stop in time when it’s icy on the roads. The first thing to remember is to slow down and allow plenty of room to stop. A thorough brake inspection at The Garage in Burnaby will reveal if the pads or any other parts need replacing. Check with your service professional to see if it is time to replace your brake fluid. It accumulates water over time which really messes with your stopping power.
Check your battery!
It is also critical to have your battery tested. A battery’s cranking power really drops with the temperature. If your battery is weak in the fall, it may not be up to winter in BC.
You should always have a blanket or something to keep you and your passengers warm if you get stranded when it's cold. If you will be leaving the Vancouver area and venturing away from civilization, pack more items such as food and water to help you survive. Keeping at least half a tank of gas is key if you get stuck and need to run the car to keep warm and it will help keep your gas lines from freezing up.
Check your wiper blades!
It’s a really good idea to replace wiper blades in the fall before the winter storms. If you live where there’s a lot of snow and ice, you might want a special winter blade that resists freezing up. And be sure to check that you have plenty of windshield washer fluid.
Check your tires!
The final thing to consider is their tires. Any tire can lose pressure over time – up to one pound every six or eight weeks. For every 10 degrees the temperature drops you lose another pound of pressure. So if it was 80 degrees outside iwhen you checked your tire pressures months ago and now it’s 40 degrees, you could be down 5 pounds of pressure. That’s enough to be a vital safety issue and it's also hard on your fuel efficiency. You may need special winter tires as well. Your The Garage tire professional can help you find the right tire design for your expected road conditions.
If you’re getting winter tires, it is always best to put them on all four wheels. If you are only getting two, it might be best to put them on the rear – even if you have a front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle. This is a very important safety measure recommended by tire manufacturers. Sliding or fish-tailing on ice and snow is caused by not having enough traction at the rear end. That is why your newest tires should probably always be on the rear. Check with your technician at The Garage.