Whether or not you enjoy the winter, it’s tough for anyone to say they prefer winter driving. Snow, slush and ice each bring their own hazards and difficulties to driving. But even without them, just the cold temperatures can cause problems that increase your chances of having a car accident.
Accidents are not they only risk that winter poses for you and your car. The salt used on Toronto’s roads attacks your car’s paint finish and body panels. Corrosion and rust can shorten the life of your car or lead to more auto body repairs.
You can reduce all the increased risks of winter driving by taking a few precautions now and throughout the season.
1. CHECK YOUR TIRES
Tires that are close to the end of their life, but still not ‘officially’ ready for replacement (more than 2/16th of an inch of tread depth), have reduced performance in wet and snowy conditions. It’s better to replace them now rather than go through the winter on them. Snow tires are not a bad investment, especially if you live outside the city; and your insurance company probably offers a discount if you install them. Also remember to keep your tires properly inflated.
2. SERVICE YOUR VEHICLE
If it hasn’t had a regular servicing recently, now’s the time to do it. It will reduce your chances of having a breakdown or other issue when it’s freezing outside.
3. CHECK THE SPARE
It tends to be forgotten until it’s needed, and that’s the worst time to find out that it’s lost pressure or, for those who have a spare that drops down using a winch, something is wrong with the mechanism that keeps it in place.
4. INSPECT WINDSHIELD WIPERS AND WASHER FLUID LEVELS
If your wipers don’t wipe off rain without leaving streaks, they are going to be terrible and getting rid of snow and ice. Washer fluid levels should be at the max and it’s a good idea to keep a full bottle in your vehicle.
5. WASH & WAX
To protect your car’s body, give it a thorough washing and do two layers of waxing; one layer of regular hand-applied wax and a layer on top of that using a spray-on wax that gets into the seams between body panels where the hand wax can’t. Try to wash your car regularly throughout the winter at a car wash that washes the underside of your vehicle.
Winter is tough on your car and tough on your driving. The more you do to now to help you handle it, the longer your car will last and the less chance you will have of suffering a collision.