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How to Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter

Jeep Off-Roading Features | Garavel CJDR

The leaves are changing, the weather is turning colder, stores are serving pumpkin-spice everything, and we all know what that means: the winter season is coming to Nova Scotia. With all the uncertainties we are experiencing, don't let your vehicle's winter preparedness be one of them. Read on to see our tips to prepare your vehicle for the cold season.

Winter tires are designed with superior tread patterns and utilize softer rubber compounds in order to maximize traction on snow and ice. To make sure you get the best performance, your vehicle's tire pressure should be within the zone recommended in the owner's manual.

Click here to read our helpful guide to checking your winter tire tread at home.

You should have a certified technician check over your vehicle to make sure all systems are in good working order. The belts and hoses should be inspected for cracks, bulges, and leaks, and the brakes should be tested at the beginning and mid-point of winter.

Extreme cold is known to pull voltage from vehicle batteries, making it harder to start them. Battery output can drop by up to 50% when the temperature is -18o Celsius. That means unless you are driving long stretches regularly, you should be routinely checking to make sure your battery is charged.

Winter wiper blades utilize a sturdier rubber, making them better at pushing snow and ice off your windshield during winter than their all-weather counterpart.

Windshield wipers should be replaced every 6-12 months, or as soon as there is a decrease in driving visibility. When they start to squeak, chatter, streak, smear, or skip, that means they are no longer maintaining proper full contact with the windshield and should be replaced.

As the weather cools down, having these fluids at the proper levels becomes crucial in keeping your vehicle running smoothly.

Check out our Fixed Op Friday Video where we demonstrate step-by-step how to check the oil and anti-freeze levels in your vehicle, and how to refill them if they're low.

While having a full gas tank is important in case of an emergency, it also helps to prevent condensation and moist air from building up inside of your vehicle's gas tank. If this happens, the fuel lines may freeze, resulting in the vehicle being unable to start-up until they thaw out.

It is always a good idea to have a survival kit in your vehicle in case you find yourself stranded, but it becomes even more important during the winter months. Storms can cause delays, and you don't want to find yourself unprepared as you wait for help on the side of a deserted rural road. Your survival kit should include the following items:

  • An emergency kit containing non-perishable food items, blankets, and first aid supplies
  • A spare tire, wheel wrench, and jack
  • Fuel line antifreeze
  • Tire chains and protective gloves
  • Battery jumper cables
  • Small shovel and traction mat, sand, or kitty litter.
  • Flares and matches or a lighter
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Extra clothing and footwear

If the worst should occur and you find yourself stranded in a storm, don't panic. Stay inside your vehicle to avoid exposure to the elements, and don't overexert yourself. Open a window slightly to allow a flow of fresh air, and burn a survival candle for heat. Keep your cellphone close to you as cold temperatures below 0o Celsius can cause it to shut off and become inoperable. Set up a warning light or flares to signal for help.We believe in customer service first, so you will never feel pushed or pressured into a purchase. Instead, we will provide you with all the options and information necessary for you to make an educated decision. We have a strong and committed sales staff that works diligently to guarantee that you enjoy your entire purchasing experience. Our knowledgeable business manager can assist you in the leasing or financing process, and keep you informed on warranties and insurance. The dealership is supported by a team of managers who work daily to ensure we a price leaders in the local market, and that customers near and far are satisfied.