The leaves are starting to fall and there are plenty of chores to do outside to ready a home for the winter but don’t forget to also get your vehicle geared up for all kinds of weather. October is Car Care Month and AAA is encouraging drivers to get a seasonal vehicle inspection to make sure it’s running properly and a dead battery won’t leave you stranded in the cold.
In addition to testing the battery, it’s important in wet and slippery conditions to make sure tires are properly inflated and in good condition. Suspension and alignment should also be checked – these factors can affect traction and speed up tire wear. For people who live in regions with heavy snowfall and cold, icy conditions, switching to seasonal snow tires in the winter can improve traction significantly. Brakes should also be inspected to make sure brake fluid is not leaking and pads or rotors are not worn.
In the winter months, when days are shorter and weather can be unpredictable, visibility is so important. AAA recommends that motorists replace windshield wiper blades each year or whenever they are not cleaning the windscreen in a single swipe. Make sure any chips or cracks that could spread are repaired and the windshield is cleaned inside and out for proper visibility day and night.
Drivers should also check they have an emergency kit in their vehicles that includes a cellphone charger, water, snacks, warm clothing, jumper cables, and a flashlight. If you don’t drive often, as many of us discovered last winter, it’s important to start your car’s engine every couple of days or if it’s very cold, daily to make sure it will start. A trickle or drip charger can also be connected to your battery to maintain the charge.
For more tips to get your vehicle ready for winter check out Shift Into Winter, a service of the Winter Driving Safety Alliance and Work Safe BC.