How to get your car ready for winter

Being unable to start your car when you’re already late, running out of windshield washer fluid on the highway, breaking down in the middle of a blizzard… Sound familiar? Here are some handy tips to help you stay safe on the roads this season and prevent premature wear on your car.

Get your car tuned up

Even if your car seems to be in perfect condition, you should get it inspected in early autumn. The mechanic will be able to examine the starter, alternator, heating system and brakes to make sure everything is in working order. You should make sure your lights work, too. They’re an important safety feature, especially with the days getting shorter!

Change your tires

Get your winter tires installed early in the season. The right time to get winter tires depends on your province, but as a general rule you should get them when temperatures drop below 7 °C. Keep in mind that the first snowstorm of the season always happens earlier than you expect!  You may also need to replace your winter tires, since they generally only last three or four years. Make sure they’re still safe to drive on every year and get your suspension and wheel alignment checked when you have them installed.

Think about your wipers

Did you know some windshield wiper blades are specifically designed for use in winter? It is recommended to have an expert install them. For maximum visibility, replace the blades when they show signs of wear. Don’t forget to fill your reservoir with windshield washer fluid that can withstand temperatures of -40 °C.

Outfit your car with winter mats

In addition to preventing calcium stains on your summer mats, a rubber mat with wide grooves will prevent water from pooling in your car. That will protect your vehicle’s carpeting against humidity and moisture.

Get a rustproofing treatment

If you want to keep your car looking new (and maximize its resale value), consider getting a rustproofing treatment. It creates a barrier so that salt and other abrasive materials don’t stick to your car, preventing corrosion.

7 ways to prep for winter driving

  • Always keep a survival kit in your car.
  • Wash your car frequently to prevent salt stains and calcium deposits, and to keep your windshield clean.
  • Get a lock de-icer and keep it with you instead of in your car.
  • Apply silicone lubricant on the rubber seals of your car doors. It will protect them and prevent them from sticking when it gets really cold.
  • Make sure you have enough coolant and antifreeze, and remember to top up your windshield washer fluid reservoir.
  • If necessary, get a block heater to ensure your car starts.
  • Adapt your driving to winter conditions and slow down. This will reduce the risks of skidding and collisions.

Combined with the right insurance coverage for your vehicle, these tips will help you stay safe when driving in cold and snowy conditions.

How to get the most out of an electric car during the winter

  • Allow more time to charge your car.
  • Keep the car plugged in, even at night and when fully charged.
  • Warm it up while it’s still plugged in. You can program this feature in the car itself or through a mobile app.
  • Park inside if possible.
  • Plan out your trips and turn down the heat.

 

Sources
Protégez-vous – What to check on your car before winter arrives: https://www.protegez-vous.ca/Automobile/entretien-avant-hiver (in French only)
Transport Canada – Winter driving: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/motorvehiclesafety/safevehicles-safetyfeatures-winterdriving-index-693.htm
AVEQ – Using your electric car in winter: http://www.aveq.ca/utilisation-hivernale.html (in French only)