Winter is coming – Make sure your car is ready

Elliott Insurance Services    September 22, 2015

Fall is here and it is time to think about the colder weather.  It is a great time to check over your cars and trucks to make sure they are ready for the change in the weather.  There are a lot of small maintenance items people tend to overlook when it comes to their automobiles.

In some cases, simple car maintenance can prevent accidents before they happen.  Some of the suggestions will seem very basic, but not everyone is an expert when it comes to their vehicle.  In some cases, they may simply rely on the opinion of a family member or friend.

Fall maintenance is basically a preparation for the coming winter months.  We have included a small checklist for things you should be looking for on your autumn car maintenance routine.

  • Replace Windshield Wiper Blades – You can’t avoid accidents if you can’t see the other cars. Cracked or worn blades won’t do an adequate job.  Check the rubber on your windshield wiper blades to make sure they can handle clearing the heavy rain and snow.
  • Have Your Battery Checked – Having a fully charged battery is crucial for getting your vehicle started in the colder weather. Have the battery health checked and the charging system inspected by a trained technician.  If you can see any signs of corrosion on the battery terminals or the battery cables look in rough shape, you should have these fixed right away.  No one likes to be stranded in the cold with a vehicle that won’t start.
  • Check The Heater/Defroster – Make sure your heater and defroster work now. Driving with frosted or foggy windows not only is a challenge, but is very unsafe.  Make sure you check your front and rear defrosters to make sure they are in working order.
  • Check Your Fluids – Now is a great time to check the fluid levels on your vehicle. You can check the basic ones (windshield washer fluid), or leave it to your technician if you are not so inclined.  Windshield washer fluid is crucial in the fall and winter in Canada.  You will need it between the mud, dirt, sludge, and snow.  Now don’t forget to get your technician to check your brake, transmission, power steering, and any other fluids your vehicle may have.  Having clean and topped up fluids will help extend the life of your vehicle.
  • Car Wash / Detail – Your car and or truck will take a beating between fall and winter. Protect the paint by getting a proper car wash.  Wash, Seal, and Wax.  The layers of protection will prolong the life of your vehicle and make sure you look good driving down the street.  Rust kills cars in Canada; don’t let the salt sit on yours.
  • Check Spare Tire – If your vehicle has a spare tire, now is the time to make sure it is still able to be put on your vehicle. Make sure it is fully inflated and ready to be put into action.  With the spare tire check, you should make sure you have the tools and supplies to make the change if you need to.
  • Windshield Check – Check your windshield for any cracks now. Once the cold weather comes, it could be too late.  Small cracks and chips are known to spider and become larger when the cold weather comes.  Save yourself time and money now, get them looked at by a windshield specialist.

Autumn car maintenance is not as scary as it seems.  By paying attention to the maintenance of your vehicle, you can prolong its life and make sure you are going to be safe.  Some of the suggestions can be completed by yourself, but if you are not confident with vehicle maintenance, then we would suggest you take your vehicle to see a trained technician.

Car lights in winter

Be sure your car is ready for winter by following a simple maintenance plan.

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