Winter car maintenance tips

Canadian winters can be especially tough on your car. While that can cause many problems, you can perform maintenance to help manage the situation. With the following knowledge, you’ll find that your car runs and looks better, despite the challenges bitter cold, snow, and ice. Remember you can count on Westview Ford to address any car maintenance needs you might have.

Lights

During the winter months, not only are the days shorter, but the sun comes out less. This means you need to ensure the lights on your car are working properly, or you take a huge risk.

Traditional incandescent lights are more likely to burn out when temperatures plunge. Some cars have warning lights in the dash that illuminate if a bulb stops working, but others don’t. You should regularly have a friend or family member sit inside the car, with the lights on, stepping on the brake pedal, and using the signals while you’re outside the car to ensure everything is working properly.

Also, you should brush or scrape off any snow or ice covering your car’s lights before you start driving. It might seem like a small thing, but that habit makes your vehicle more visible, which could prevent an accident on the road.

Wipers

The wipers on your car make seeing clearly through the glass possible. That’s absolutely essential for driving at any time of the year, including the winter.

Your car should have newer wiper blades during the winter. Cold weather, plus ice, and road salt can be especially hard on the rubber compound, making old wiper blades fail quickly. Newer blades can keep the glass particularly clear, so you’re not struggling to see at any given time.

When you park the car, switch the wipers off. That way, if the blades freeze to the glass, the wiper motor isn’t struggling uselessly. That can burn the motor out, leading to a fairly big repair.

Battery

Cold weather can really overtax your car battery, especially if you park outside most of the time. There’s no worse feeling than turning the key in the ignition, and your car does nothing.

Check your car battery’s charge at any reputable shop. This simple service normally doesn’t cost much, and it can help detect a problem before it’s too late. If the battery is losing its charge, replace it without a second thought.

Also, keep the battery terminals clean. A wire brush, plus water and baking soda mixed together will clear off corrosion or whatever else has accumulated on the terminals, so the flow of electricity isn’t inhibited.

Tires

Watch your tires closely in the winter. Cold weather drops tire pressure, so check them periodically to ensure the pressure is where the manufacturer recommends. If not, fill the tires until you reach that air pressure.

Using snow tires in the winter isn’t a bad idea. They provide additional grip in the slick road conditions. At the very least, replace tires that have a low tread with new ones.

Get help with keeping your car in top condition by coming to Westview Ford today.

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