With snow season right around the corner, it is time to start thinking about winterizing your car! While this may seem like a daunting task (especially for those on a budget) there are many cheap and easy ways to make sure your car is ready to take on the cold weather. Remember, preparing now will save you money later! Follow our steps below to get your car ready for winter and reduce the chance of costly surprises throughout the season!
1. Put on Winter Tires
The first step to take when preparing for the winter months is to put snow tires on your car. An investment in a good pair of winter tires will increase your safety when the roads get really bad. Save money by buying them used-- be sure to have the approval of your mechanic to ensure the quality of the tires! Maintaining your snow tires once they are put on is crucial. The cold weather contracts the car tires, which calls for consistent maintenance of tire pressure. Better to be safe than sorry!
2. Check the car battery
Cold weather is hard on your car and can actually drain your battery. To ensure a trouble-free performance this winter get your battery checked out by your mechanic. The average battery life in Canada is five years; if your battery is older than three years, you should have it checked annually. If you are coming up to the five-year mark, consider opting for a new to ensure a stress-free winter season. If you want to be extra prepared, invest in a pair of jumper cables to keep with you in case your battery leaves you stranded in the bad weather.
3. Install winter wiper blades
Winter time calls for lots of snow and slushy water which can blur your vision while driving. When the weather starts to get bad, one of the most important things you will need is a clear windshield. To keep you safe against the elements of Mother Nature, be sure to purchase a good pair of windshield wipers that can withstand the winter weather conditions!
4. Fill winter washer fluid in your car
If you are on a budget this coming winter season, checking the fluids in your car may be the most useful thing to do. Preventing problems from forming before cold the weather starts saves you time and money! Put anti-freeze in your car and fill your washer fluid. To make sure you are never on empty, keep a bottle in the trunk!
5. Keep a snow scraper in your car
A small investment of around $20.00 in a heavy duty snow scraper is a one-time cost that will help you in the long run! When the weather gets really bad and your car is covered with snow you will be extremely thankful you have a snow scraper that actually works! Grabbing a scraper in the off-season leading up to winter usually means you can save a few bucks.
6. Fix up your headlights
Inspecting your headlights, taillights and turn signals will ensure other drivers can see you in any weather conditions. Make sure to replace a burnt-out lightbulb with a new bulb, and clean the headlight covers regularly. Consider purchasing a headlight restoration kit, usually, they are inexpensive and will help you polish and repair the plastic back to its clear state.
7. Get an oil change
Getting an oil change is something that should be done regularly on your car. If you are due for your next oil change soon, make sure you have it done before the weather starts to get colder! To protect your engine from extra wear and tear, choose a high quality oil that will shield your car from harsh weather conditions on our coldest days this season.
8. Keep your gas tank partially full
Be aware of the gas level in your car and strive to keep your gas tank at least half-way full throughout the winter months. Half a tank of gas will decrease your chances of moisture forming in the pipeline and freezing!
9. Be prepared!
If you’ve inspected your car, made the necessary improvements and feel like you are ready to face the winter road conditions, the last step to take is to stock your car with emergency essentials. Keep a safety kit in your trunk to prepare for any weather-related scenario you may end up in this winter. First aid kits, flashlights, blankets and a phone charger are just some examples of items to keep with you at all times. You never know what could happen when driving during the winter months, so it is important to be safe and prepared! Taking small, preventative steps to get your car winter-ready is the most important thing to help you stick to your budget this season! Reduce the chance of surprise costs by preparing now.
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