Have you winterized your car properly?
In addition to the traditional tire change, Canadian drivers must go through many other steps to prepare their vehicles for our harsh winters.
Having been in business for more than 80 years, Speedy Glass has seen its share of snow! Our team has a few tips to help prepare your vehicle for the colder months and thereby reduce the risk of accidents.
Be twice as cautious during the winter
It’s important to take a close look at your vehicle so you can identify potential damages and see what winter equipment it needs to run safely during this period of extreme cold.
Not only do the spark plugs, brakes, suspension and steering systems need to be checked by a professional, but so do the headlights!
A driver whose vehicle has damaged headlights will, on average, have four seconds less to react in case of an emergency. What’s more, headlights in proper condition enable drivers to see road signs 115 metres ahead, whereas damaged headlights reduce this distance by 50 metres.
This could mean the difference between avoiding a deer that suddenly ran onto the road or hitting it head on!
In fact, deer-vehicle collisions are more and more common. According to Statistics Canada’s most recent figures, collisions causing material damages have increased by more than 40% over a five-year period.
With more than 22 million vehicles on Canadian roads, this type of accident is likely to continue increasing.
Chipped windshields also need to be repaired. In the winter, a tiny chip in your windshield can turn into a large crack due to the difference between the outside temperature of -40oC and the inside temperature of 20oC.
Most insurance companies cover the entire cost of repairing a chipped windshield. If you neglect to repair it, however, it may need to be replaced, in which case you’ll have to pay your deductible out of pocket.
Snow and ice must be removed from the windows and the windshield washer fluid reservoir must be completely full. There’s nothing more dangerous than reduced visibility caused by winter precipitations and the accumulation of salt on your windshield. If stopped by the police, a driver could be fined between $60 and $500 depending on the Highway Safety Code in effect in the province where the infraction was committed.
You would not want to be responsible for an accident like on this video (Click here)!
10 quick tips:
1. Tire pressure
Your tires must be properly inflated to ensure the best traction and optimal fuel efficiency.
It’s important to know that each time the temperature drops by 6oC, it reduces your tire pressure by one pound per square inch (psi). That’s why professionals suggest increasing your tire pressure by 2 to 4 psi during the winter months.
2. Maximum visibility
Not many drivers know this, but wiper manufacturers suggest replacing wipers twice a year to guarantee their effectiveness.
A water repellent treatment is another way to improve your visibility, in combination with a high-quality windshield washer fluid that doesn’t freeze during the winter.
This type of treatment is very useful in the winter because ice adheres to the repellent rather than directly to the windows, which makes them easier to de-ice.
It can be very damageable for your vehicle to run on a near-empty gas tank during the cold season. Keep your tank as full as possible to prevent ice from forming in the gas lines.
4. Cabin air filter
Perhaps few drivers are aware that the cabin air filter must be changed on a regular basis because this feature appeared only in the last ten years.
The cabin air filter plays a key role on the air quality inside your vehicle. It increases the performance of the windshield defroster, thereby reducing condensation, and provides better visibility, particularly in the winter when the degree of humidity fluctuates quickly and the cabin air filter is almost entirely responsible for the air quality in your vehicle.
5. Floor mats
When the mats absorb water, the degree of humidity inside your vehicle increases considerably, causing fog. High-quality rubber mats like WeatherTech® custom-fit mats offer maximum protection and can prevent this from being an issue.
6. Thermal shocks
The constant fluctuations in outside and inside temperatures not only have an adverse effect on your windshield, but on a number of your vehicle’s parts as well.
Gradually heating the interior of your vehicle can prevent you from having to make certain minor repairs.
Speedy Glass recommends heating your vehicle for about three minutes before heading off.
Cold temperatures can wear out the battery. It shouldn’t have any corrosion marks on it and the cables should be tight. Have it checked by a professional at the beginning of the season to make sure you won’t have problems starting your vehicle.
8. Side rear-view mirrors
Often neglected, the side rear-view mirrors are a safety equipment that shouldn’t be ignored. Because they are essential for checking your blind spots and providing you with the information you need about the traffic around you, Speedy Glass technicians suggest changing them as soon as they are damaged by an impact. And don’t forget that the water repellent treatment can also be applied on your side rear-view mirrors to prevent ice from adhering to them.
Have your brakes checked frequently. You don’t want to be driving on icy roads with less-than-perfect brakes.
Antifreeze is key to maintaining your vehicle’s optimal temperature when running. Professionals suggest completely purging the cooling system on a regular basis.
Finally, the best advice we could give you:
Remember to keep a winter kit consisting of at least a shovel, traction aids, booster cables, a thermal blanket and a flashlight in the trunk of your vehicle. These could be essential in case of a breakdown. And don’t forget the first aid kit, which should always be in your vehicle.
Because Speedy Glass cares about your safety, we invite you to come meet our expert technicians at any time so they can advise you on how to spend a worry-free winter in the comfort and warmth of your vehicle.