Although your professional sales team at Humber Motors Ford has truckloads of experience, we continue to be surprised when folks ask if winterizing their vehicle is really that important. If we lived in a southern climate, winterizing wouldn’t even be a consideration, but here in beautiful Corner Brook, we should all know that winterizing saves you time, money, and lots of aggravation, too!
As soon as the temperature begins to hover consistently around freezing, it’s time to winterize. It’s never been easier either - with our scheduling available online, there’s no good reason to find yourself left out in the cold this winter.
Consider Snow Tires
Snow tires outperform regular tires. That’s just a fact. In certain circumstances, that outperformance can have big consequences.
The advantage comes in the superior tread on a snow tire. It’s made for traction on slippery surfaces like ice and snow. They also have a grip enhancement that will outperform a regular tire on rain, slush, snow, or even on the cold, dry pavement every single time.
Don’t wait too long to purchase your snow tires. Supplies typically decrease after the first heavy snowfall.
Check Your Antifreeze
A 50/50 solution of antifreeze and coolant is typically what most recommend as the temperature drops. For our area, a 70/30 solution is likely more appropriate. Adding antifreeze to your vehicle keeps the engine cool without allowing it to freeze in cold weather.
If you don’t add antifreeze to your coolant and it freezes, this could cause expensive total engine failure. This quick addition is well worth your time and money.
Check Your Battery
In winter months, your battery likely struggles to perform. In cold temperatures, it’s estimated that battery power can be reduced as much as 50%. Let a trusted mechanic test the battery for a charge. Typically, most advise that if the battery is over 5 years old, you should change it before it begins to give you any trouble. Ask your mechanic to ensure all terminals, cables, caps, and connections are clean and in good shape.
Check Oil (Viscosity)
Routine oil changes should occur approximately every 3000 miles. As you travel into the fall, ask your mechanic to replace your current oil with one that is thinner and has a lower viscosity.
Cold weather causes oil to thicken, making it more difficult for it to lubricate the car’s engine properly. Changing to a thinner oil should prevent any issues during the winter season.
Check Wiper Blades and Wiper Fluid
Don’t wait until you need wiper blades to change them! There’s nothing more frightening than being on the road in inclement weather when you try to use defunct wiper blades.
Go ahead and change the blades before the likelihood of bad weather increases. There are lots of options available. Look for high-functioning blades manufactured specifically for use in snow and ice.
In addition, it’s a good idea to add freeze-resistant wiper fluid to your vehicle, so that when you need a quick rinse to clear your windshield, it’s ready at your fingertips.
Check Tire Pressure
You should always have a little less air in the tire than the maximum allowed pressure. Look in your owner’s manual or on the inside of the door panel for the maximum allowed pressure. Invest in a small tire gauge that stores easily in the console or glovebox. Don’t forget to check the air pressure in your spare tire too, just in case.
You shouldn’t have to check tire pressure that often, especially if you have snow tires. However, we certainly recommend checking before a long trip through inclement weather. It’s always more comfortable to check tires in the warmth of your garage than when your tire goes flat in the freezing cold!
Stock Your Car
Some folks forget this step when they prepare for travel through inclement weather. Go ahead and fill an all-weather bag with some emergency essentials in case you find yourself stranded in inclement weather. The more comfortable everyone can be during a long wait, the better! Most recommend the following be kept in your car at all times:
Small tool kit
Tire-changing essentials - jack, lug wrench, spare tire, even a small piece of cardboard for kneeling
Warm blanket, extra mittens/gloves
Paper towels and antibacterial gel or wipes
A few water bottles
Non-perishable snack foods - trail mix, nuts, jerky, hard candy
First-aid kit - don’t forget any essential medicines
If you have children traveling in the vehicle, you also may consider adding:
Extra blankets and/or a pillow
A deck of cards, some books, a magazine
Extra snacks and water
We’ve begun to feel the promise of fall in the air already! Don’t wait until the last minute to get prepared. Call our service team at Humber Motors Ford on Confederation Drive, and let’s get you ready for winter sooner rather than later. It’s a big deal. We promise!