Canada is one of the few countries in the world that experiences all four seasons, each with its own driving challenges. Seasonal transitions affect all of us when we are on the road. Follow these seasonal driving tips to stay safe in every type of weather this year....less
Winter can be unfriendly to shocks and struts. Having an inspection to determine wear or leaks, as well as having your wheels properly aligned after tough weather conditions, can help lead you in a safe direction.
Spring cleaning includes air filters.
Your car has a number of filters that should be replaced regularly, especially during allergy season. Check your engine air filter, your cabin air filter (also known as the pollen filter), and your fuel filter for damage or clogging and replace them if necessary. Every 24,000 kilometres is a common standard.
Check your fluids.
When you change your filter, you should also check your power steering, brake, and transmission fluids, your windshield washer fluid, and your coolant. If the levels are low, top them up, and flush/replace them as recommended in your owner’s manual.
Here comes the rain.
If they’re torn or cracked, your wiper blades won’t do you much good in the middle of unrelenting spring showers when visibility is reduced.
Check all exterior and interior lighting to identify any problems. When your vehicle’s lighting is defective, other motorists may not get the message that you intend to stop or turn. The end result could be disastrous.
New season, new oil and oil filter.
Changing your oil and filter at the intervals recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual is one of the best ways to keep the engine running smoothly, greatly decreasing the risk of high fuel consumption or severe engine damage.
Check your tires.
Check the pressure of all your tires (including the spare) monthly, and maintain the optimal pressure recommended in your owner’s manual. Check the tread for uneven or irregular wear and for cuts or bruises on the sidewalls. We suggest rotating your tires every oil and filter change, and replace them if they are worn or damaged.
Winter weather is hard on your brakes.
After a season of snow and ice, it is advisable to inspect the brake system, including lines, hoses, parking brake, and brake fluid for proper level. We rely on our brakes, and something as simple as a brake pad change can help put an end to any worries about brake safety.
8 Winter Safety Tips
Don’t spin your tires if you get stuck in the snow.
Stuck in the snow? Stop spinning your tires and use a shovel or ice scraper to remove any snow or ice from underneath the tires. Pour sand or gravel (or salt if you have it) under the drive wheel tires to help improve your traction. Then turn off your vehicle’s Traction Control™
(if equipped) and try accelerating gently both forward and in R (Reverse). If none of these techniques work, call for assistance.
Know how to control your vehicle when you skid.
Know what to do if you start skidding. If your vehicle starts to skid, take your foot off the accelerator, gradually turn your vehicle in the direction you are skidding and gently apply steady pressure to your vehicle’s brakes. Don’t pump them, as it may cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
Measure tires for optimal pressure.
Always keep your tires properly inflated and measure them regularly for optimal tire pressure. Cold temperatures can cause tire pressure to decrease.
Check that your gas tank is at least half full for safer winter driving.
Keep your gas tank at least half full because it gives you the added weight to the vehicle and also helps keep ice crystals from forming in your fuel line.
Winter proof the windshields.
Check your windshield wipers for cracks, which could cause streaks. Also, top off your windshield washer fluid regularly and keep an extra jug designed for cold weather in your vehicle.
Don’t let your cell phone battery drain out for safety purposes.
Keep your cell phone charged and keep a car charger handy in case you need to call for help.
Be prepared to jumpstart your vehicle.
Keep a set of booster cables in your vehicle in case you or another motorist needs a boost.
Keep your car emergency kit handy.
Keep a first-aid kit and warning devices (such as road flares) in your vehicle. Make sure to replace items if you use them.
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