Prepping your car for winter
Do a bit of maintenance yourself to get your car ready for winter. You’ll be glad you did it too!
Body of car
The body of your car needs some TLC during the winter. Bad weather and road salts can really do a number on your car. You should therefore protect your car with the right accessories. For example, a scratch-resistant foam snow broom will protect the finish on your car when you clear the snow.
You can also reduce the risk of corrosion or perforation by washing your car regularly, which will remove the calcium, salt and dirt that tends to stick to it in the deep freeze. If you can, don’t park your car in a heated garage. Humidity, melting snow and de-icing salt will attack the surface and speed up the formation of corrosion.
In Quebec, experts recommend rustproofing your car. If you have your car rustproofed, and have it repaired during the winter, we recommend that you have another rustproofing treatment applied to the repaired part of your vehicle.
You should keep your windshield clear of any snow or ice that forms on it. Be careful not to damage your windshield wipers by tapping them with your snow broom handle. Do not turn on your windshield wipers if they're stuck to the glass, as that can damage their motor. Be patient as the defogger kicks in.
If you did the proper maintenance at the start of winter, your engine oil is ready to face the cold. If you have a more modern car, you don’t need to warm it up so it runs smoothly, but during deeper freezes, you may want to use engine block heaters.
When you’re on the road, avoid driving too fast and hitting potholes or other hazards on the road, especially during thaws. This can quickly damage your vehicle's suspension or steering.
Your car's battery should be replaced regularly. If you feel that it’s on its last legs when you start the car, check the condition and have it replaced, as necessary. You wouldn’t want your car to break down in a parking lot far from home...
The tire pressure can change quickly depending on the weather. Every 6 C dip in temperature results in a 1-pound pressure drop. You should check the tire pressure regularly during the winter to make sure they are not over-inflated or too soft. The right tire pressure ensures optimal performance and handling and reduces wear and tear on your vehicle.
Condensation may form if your tank is low on fuel for an extended period of time. The water can eventually freeze and clog the fuel filter. You may then have trouble starting your car. All you need to do is fuel up regularly to avoid the effects of the cold.
Have a great winter!