The crisp fall air signals that winter is not too far behind. Although the powdery-white snow and glistening icicles make for a breathtaking scene, these conditions can create hazardous road conditions and wreak havoc on your car. On average, Calgary receives 126 cm of snow each winter. Not surprisingly, 82 per cent of Canadians said they dislike winter driving, according to a State Farm Insurance survey last year.
Here are 8 simple steps you can take to help prepare your car take on Mother Nature on the road this winter.
Step 1: Check your tires
Tires become most critical to your safety during winter. Tires are the only part of the car in contact with the road and its conditions, which means they need to perform at the optimal level. Whether it is ice, snow or slush, your tires need to be in the right condition and made of the right material to handle your car safely on the road from point A to point B.
Despite their name, all season tires are not designed for conditions that receive continual snow and low temperatures. Summer tires start to harden at 7 °C; all-season tires become stiff at about -10 °C but winter tires remain flexible until -40 °C. Winter tires are designed for severe and extreme winter conditions. With our Tire Swap special currently in effect, starting from only $25, it’s the perfect time to come in and get your winter tires. Book your appointment online or call (403) 207-2466. They will provide the tread and traction needed to handle whatever winter throws at you.
Step 2: Get a tune-up done
Go in to your dealership for a multi-point inspection for your car before the snow accumulates on the ground. Get your tires checked, oil changed, including lubrication and oil filter. Also, get your tires rotated, wheels aligned and battery, air filter and brakes tested. Our Fall service specials are currently in effect. Book your appointment online or call (403) 207-2466.
Step 3: Maintain your fuel level
During winter, moisture can build up in your gas tank and corrode the metal inside. If that moisture freezes, it can cause heavy damage. Prevent this by maintaining at least a half tank of gas at all times. The gasoline will absorb any moisture before it builds up.
Step 4: Change your windshield wipers
Through sleet, snow, and rain, windshield wipers are essential to maintaining your safety and visibility on the road. Regular blades may struggle to wipe away snow or sleet from your windshield. Consider switching to winter wiper blades to ensure optimum performance, especially if your wiper blades are starting to look a little haggard. Winter blades are sturdier, more flexible and prevent ice from freezing around the joints and between the bars.
Step 5: Hit the right coolant ratio
Your engine cooling system should be 60/40 mixture of antifreeze to distilled water during winter to prevent freezing and boiling over.
Step 6: Check your a/c and exhaust system
Your car uses your air conditioning system to defrost your windshield and dehumidify the inside your car. In order to drive safely this winter, ensure that they are functioning properly. Ensure your exhaust system is intact to avoid leaking exhaust pipes, which can cause carbon monoxide poisoning and allow in extra moisture, making it seem like your defroster is broken.
Step 7: Test your battery
Last thing you would want is to be left stranded in the middle of the road because of a dead battery. A battery that did the job in the summer may not be sufficient for the colder temperatures. Get your battery checked by a service technician, just make sure your cables are in good shape and the terminals are not corroded. If the battery seems to not have enough juice, get it replaced.
Step 8: Pack a winter safety kit
When driving during winter conditions, you may find yourself in an emergency situation with help far away or, in extreme cases, out of reach. Pack these cold weather essentials in your car to make sure you are always prepared:
- Flashlights, extra batteries and battery-powered radio
- Portable phone charger
- Booster cables
- Snow brush and ice scraper
- Fleece blanket
- Extra pairs of socks, gloves, jackets and scarves
- First aid kit
- Bottled water and non-perishable, high-energy and low-sodium foods such as granola bars, raisins and peanut butter
- Tire repair kit and pump
- Tire jack and wrench
- Road flares or reflective hazard triangles
- Swiss army knife
- Vehicle fire extinguisher
Bonus Tip: Check weather conditions
Always tune into local news to check the weather conditions and forecast before heading out or when planning your trip. If the weather conditions are hazardous, consider delaying or rescheduling your trip, if possible.
Since there are few things more unpredictable than the Calgary weather, it is highly recommended you start taking steps to prepare your car for winter. Visit Sunridge Nissan where our experts will find you the right tires to get you through winter and prepare your car to handle the worst of this season. Our team at Sunridge Nissan will walk you through the challenges you may face this upcoming season and explain the best solutions and services for your car.
With our fall specials, now is the time to visit www.sunridgenissan.com or call (403) 207-2466. to book your next service appointment.