Winter Service FAQ – The Importance of Seasonal Service
Canadian drivers are aware of most or all of the treacherous driving conditions you face during our long winters: black ice, heavy snow, blizzards, whiteouts, freezing rain, frost… You’ve seen it all. The winter is inevitable, but stress doesn’t have to be when you follow some of the basic winter maintenance tips we’ve put together for you. Let’s take a look at how you can beat the winter here at Maple Ridge Hyundai:
The Winter Inspection
We all know how important it is to go to the doctor for checkups, and the same principle applies to your vehicle. Inspections are a good idea any time of the year, but their importance is a little more pressing as we transition into the winter. You don’t want to break down during a blizzard or try to get around in freezing weather while your car is getting repaired, right? Or even worse, you wouldn’t want to be driving on black ice with worn-out brake pads, right? A winter inspection is one which focuses on the components that tend to malfunction in cold weather and that you’ll need the most for the season. This means the battery, fluids, filters, exhaust system, radiator, tires, ignition system, and everything else vitally important.
Remember Those Wipers
Let’s not be tempted to use the washer fluid we were using in the summer—you need something rated for winter weather so it will not freeze in the reservoir. Store 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 pre-season maintenance regimen, you should replace your windshield wipers too! They won’t last forever, so if you’re noticing streaks on your windshield, let’s get those wipers replaced.
Put Your Winter Tires On!
Your all-season tires do a decent job for many road conditions, including some winter conditions, but you can’t beat the performance and safety of winter tires for those colder months. Even if you’re not experiencing the coldest temperatures yet, the moment it reaches 10 degrees Celsius or colder outside, your summer or all-season tires do lose some grip on the road, which only gets worse as the temperatures continue to drop. Many experts recommend that you switch your tires about 2 weeks ahead the first big snowfall, but sometimes predicting snow this far in advance doesn’t seem feasible, especially in Canada! To be on the safe side, you let’s aim to change those tires in October or November, or when you notice the temperature is dropping (anything 10 degrees Celsius or lower). Let’s not leave it until the weather starts getting too cold! We don’t want you getting stuck behind all the other people in a mad dash to get their tires switched out when winter finally comes down hard.
Clean, Functional Lights
Colder months ahead means the sun will be setting earlier, the day will be darker, and the visibility will be lower, especially because of conditions like whiteouts and blizzards. It’s a good idea to make sure all your lamps are crisp, clear, and working perfectly. If they are dirty or just look dull, you can clean them yourself with a lamp restoration kit.
Your Winter Emergency Kit
Here is a no-brainer. You need a winter emergency kit in your car all throughout the winter; not having one can become 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 of your own items. Every emergency kit should include items like:
- non-perishable food that can withstand the weather
- blankets and extra clothing in case of wet clothing
- jumper cables
- salt or sand to give your vehicle traction
- first-aid kit
- water bottles that won’t crack or break in the weather
- a small shovel, a scraper, and a snowbrush
And Finally, Drive Safely
There’s a ton advice out there on how to drive safely during the winter, but be sure to follow a few basic rules:
- maintain a longer following distance between you and the car in front of yours
- reduce speed sooner as you drive on ice
- avoid hard or sudden braking
- give yourself extra time to arrive to a destination
- monitor any weather reports
- remove any snow and frost from your car before heading out
And above all else, remember that your special winterized equipment and solid driving knowledge are only as good as your ability to adapt to the weather, because it won’t be adapting to you. Drive for the conditions! Remember to maintain your car with us here at Maple Ridge Hyundai, and be sure to contact us or book a service appointment to get your car ready for the winter!