Approximately 30% of car accidents occur during the snow season! (Statistics source: tests.ca) Winter can be an extremely challenging time for drivers in Ontario due to unpredictable weather and extreme road conditions. Environmental factors like snowsqualls, icy, slushy roads, freezing rain account for an increase in road accidents every year. The risk of being involved in a car accident goes beyond just physical injuries. Filing insurance claims, hiring lawyer assistance, paying medical bills are just some of the many problems.
Extra vigilance and proper vehicle maintenance are required to avoid collisions. Ensuring that the vehicle is winter-ready is the best preventive measure you can take to navigate winter safely.
Follow these winter maintenance tips to prepare your car for a smooth snow season:
Icy roads cause the most number of accidents in Ontario during the winter season, making winter tires imperative. All-season tires provide snow traction to some extent, but the tread patterns and
rubber compounds on winter-grade tires are far more superior. They provide the grip and maneuverability needed to drive safely on snowy roads.
If you already own a set of winter tires, make sure there is no wear and that they are properly inflated. Tire pressure plummets with a decline in temperature.
The ideal time to install your winter tires is after the temperatures drop below 7°C and before the first snowfall. Make sure you book an appointment at the nearest auto servicing center well in advance. Tire change services tend to be fully booked up when snow begins to fall.
Freezing temperatures affect oil density. As the temperature drops lower, the oil begins to thicken which delays the engine start. If you conduct the oil change yourself, ensure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendation. (Can be found in the owner manual) During winter, a multi-viscosity oil is preferred with a viscosity index of W as it is suitable for the season.
If you want to get it done at the auto shop, the technician will recommend the right oil for winter.
Windscreen Wipers blades
Wiper blades are critical for greater visibility while driving, especially throughout the snow season. Road salt, dirt, and snow residue are harsh on the wipers causing them to wear out quickly.
However, the tear on the rubber blade is often overlooked by most car owners. Our technicians recommend changing wiper blades twice a year – during spring and before winter for optimum safety
With less daylight during winters, it is necessary to have all the car lights functioning perfectly. Ensure lenses are clean, both front and rear lights are in top working condition for optimum visibility in foggy or snowy conditions. Get a complete light assessment done during your winter maintenance visit at the service center. If any bulb is out, get it replaced. Driving without functioning lights is dangerous and illegal.
Coolants and Antifreeze
Coolants prevent the engine from freezing in winter. Therefore, having an exact coolant to water ratio is imperative. The coolant mixture ratios differ depending on the sebyasons. Some repair technicians recommend a 50/50 ratio of water and antifreeze in the radiator. Depending on the temperature drop, some suggest a 60/40 or 70/30 ratio.
An inaccurate antifreeze to water ratio can cause the water to solidify, cracking hoses, pipes and causing leaks. It is best to have the coolant mixture checked by a professional to avoid any unprecedented problems.
Snow, road salt, and dirt reduce visibility, hence requiring more wiper fluid than usual. To always keep the windshield clean, ensure your washer fluid reservoir is filled with freeze-resistant wiper fluid.
Driving on snowy roads can be a distressing experience, even for seasoned drivers. But conducting winter safety checks can help you know your ride better and identify any existing problems. By preparing the car for winter, you can minimize the risk of accidents and unexpected breakdowns significantly.
Take the overwhelm out of winter driving with the help of our exceptional repair team. Our expert auto technicians will perform complete winter maintenance and safety check on your car, assuring it is fully safetied and winter-ready for you and your family.
For a limited time, you can finance new winter tires without paying for the first 100 days. Click here to book an appointment.