Be Winter Ready!

Avoid the last minute panic and prepare for winter ahead of time this year. 

Consider the following:

- Switch to winter tires. The correct time to change to winter tires is when the temperature drops below seven degrees Celsius. This is the point where your summer tires will begin to lose their grip, may fail to brake, and will decline in performance and overall safety. 

- Ensure you have an emergency roadside assistance kit in your car (winter windshield washer fluid, a light-weight snow shovel, lined work gloves, a good quality ice-scraper/snow brush combo, a bright flashlight that will stand or hang on its own, a set of emergency reflectors, a set of booster cables with instructions).

- Lubricate door locks, latches, and hinges and treat the door and window seals. Don’t forget hatchback lids or lift-gates and hoods.

- Test/replace your battery (most batteries have an average lifespan of three years). Would you rather find out you need a new battery when your vehicle is in for service at 2 p.m. on a Wednesday or at, say 2:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning in an empty parking lot of the office party banquet hall when it’s -30 ºC without the wind chill?

- Book an oil change. Engine oil takes a beating during winter operation thanks to fuel contamination from cold starts and water contamination from engine block condensation. Start off the season right with a fresh oil and filter change. Don’t forget to check brake, transmission and power steering fluid levels.

- Dressing appropriately for the weather. If you’re not dressed to walk a few blocks in winter weather, you’re not dressed to drive. A warm comfortable driver is much safer than a frozen one and being stranded on the side of the road in sandals or running shoes is an invitation to frost-bite after only a short period of time. As an extra precaution, put extra clothing and blankets in your vehicle.