Winter is here is and if the white stuff outside is any indication, there is no time like the present to be proactive and get those wheels into shape for the cold winter months ahead.
A vehicle check before more severe conditions arrive is the best way to avoid the aggravation of being stranded out in the cold and the expense of emergency repairs down the road says Steve Szilagyi of Euro Mobil AutoHouse in St. Catharines.
Szilagyi says it’s not rocket science, but it is peace of mind to follow a few simple steps and ensure hassle free driving when the snow starts flying. His tips are as follows:
-Get a full-on tune-up. Winter makes existing problems worse like sluggish performance issues or rough idling.
-Have the battery and charging system checked for maximum performance because harsh weather is hard them.
-Clean, flush and put in fresh antifreeze in the cooling system (do this every two years).
-Make sure your winter tools (wipers, heaters and defrosters) work properly. Winter wiper blades really do make a difference so consider changing them up. Also, use cold weather washer fluid.
-Check your brakes. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item.
-Do not forget to get oil and filter changes regularly.
-Check tire tread depth and tire pressure. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly and if you have a great deal of snow in your area, the proper snow tires are your best friend. Also, make sure the pressure of your spare tire is sufficient in case of emergency.
-Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous when windows are closed.
-Check that exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly aimed.
-You should also keep the gas tank at least half full at all times to decrease the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and freezing.
-Last but not least: Drivers should make sure they have an emergency kit with an ice scraper, jumper cables, flashlight, flares, blankets, candles/matches, bottled water and snacks.
Steve Szilagyi is a Certified Mechanic with over 30 years of experience in the European and Canadian Car Industries and is the owner of the new Luxury Auto Repair Shop Euro Mobil Autohouse , 284 Glenridge Avenue at the corner of Glenridge and Hwy 406 in St. Catharines.