Winter Service FAQ – Why Get Seasonal Service?
Get a Thorough Winter Inspection
You know how important it is to go to the doctor for checkups, and the same principle applies to your vehicle. Inspections are important any time of the year, but their importance is a little more pressing as we transition into the winter. Do you really want to break down during a blizzard or try to get around in freezing weather while your car is getting repaired in the shop? Or even worse, do you want to be driving on black ice with worn-out brake pads? A winter inspection is an inspection that focuses on the components that tend to malfunction in cold weather and that you’ll need the most during the season. This includes the battery, fluids, filters, exhaust system, radiator, tires, ignition system, and everything else vitally important.
Remember Your Wipers
You shoudn’t be tempted to use the washer fluid you were using in the summer—you need something rated for winter weather so it doesn’t freeze in the reservoir. You can keep a spare jug in your trunk in case you run out while you’re on the road and fill it with winter fluid. If you haven’t already, as part of a fall maintenance regimen, you should replace your windshield wipers too! They definitely have a lifespan, so if you’re noticing streaks on your windshield, let’s get those wipers replaced.
Put Your Winter Tires On!
All-season tires do a decent job under many road conditions, including some winter conditions, but you can’t beat the performance and safety of winter tires during the colder months. Even if you’re not looking at the coldest temperatures yet, the moment it reaches 10 degrees Celsius or colder outside, your summer or all-season tires are going to lose some grip on the road, which only gets worse as the temperatures continue to drop. Many professionals recommend that you switch your tires about two weeks ahead the first big snowfall, but sometimes predicting snow two weeks in advance doesn’t seem feasible, especially in Canada! To be on the safe side, you can aim to change your tires in October or November, or when you notice the temperature is dropping (anything 10 degrees Celsius or lower). Just don’t leave it until the weather starts getting too cold! You don’t want to get stuck behind all the other people in a mad dash to get their tires switched out when winter finally comes down hard.
Clean and Functional Headlights and Taillights
Colder months means the sun will be setting earlier, the day will be darker, and the visibility will be reduced, especially because of conditions like whiteouts and blizzards. It’s a good idea to make sure all your lamps are crisp, clear, and in ideal working order. If the lamps are dirty or just look dull, you can clean them yourself with a lamp restoration kit.
Take Out the Winter Emergency Kit
This one is a no-brainer. You need a winter emergency kit in your car all throughout the winter; not having one can come down to a matter of life or death. You can go with kits that have already been put together, but you’ll still need to add some items yourself. Every emergency kit should contain items like:
- non-perishable food that can withstand bad weather
- blankets and extra clothing in case yours gets wet
- jumper cables
- salt or sand for traction
- first-aid kit
- water bottles that won’t crack or break in bad weather
- a small shovel, a scraper, and a snowbrush
Of Course, Drive Safely
There’s so much advice out there on how to drive safely during the winter, but be sure to follow a few basic rules:
- keep a longer following distance between you and the car in front of you
- reduce your speed sooner when on ice
- avoid hard and sudden braking
- give yourself extra time to get to work
- monitor the weather reports
- remove all the snow and frost from your car before heading out
And more than anything, remember that your special winterized equipment and solid driving knowledge are only as good as your ability to adapt to the weather, because it’s certainly not going to adapt to you. Always drive for the conditions! Remember to maintain your car with us here at Kelowna Hyundai too. Contact us or book a service appointment to get your car ready for the winter!