How to Winterize Your Car in Five Easy Steps
It seems like summer goes by all too quickly each year. Before you know it, we’re wearing sweaters and drinking pumpkin spice lattes – fall is here! And, of course, after a few months of a pleasant fall, we quickly move into winter. Atlantic Canada is a beautiful place, but we can get some pretty brutal winters. We rely on our cars to get us around, whether it’s snowing, raining, ice pellets or all of the above.
That’s why it’s so important to winterize your car before the weather gets bad. No one wants to wake up to the first bad winter storm before you’ve had a chance to get ready.
Here are five easy steps you need to take to winterize your car:
- Get your car tuned up.
- Replace any burned-out lights.
- Get out your winter tools.
- Put snow tires on your car.
- Take steps to avoid your car doors freezing shut.
Winter is also a great time to review your auto insurance policy. You may be eligible for discounts on your auto insurance with snow tires, or you may want to increase your coverage if you’ll be doing a lot of winter driving.
1. Get your car tuned up
The last thing you want to do is go into winter with a car that hasn’t been tuned up. Here are all the areas you or your mechanic need to focus on:
- Your battery. Make sure it’s in good shape and can last a long time because essential tools like your windshield wipers depend on it.
- Check that your heating system and your front and rear window defrost are working well.
- If you have it, make sure your four-wheel drive is working.
- Check that the brakes are working well. When you hit an unexpected icy patch, you don’t want to find out you have a problem with your brakes.
- Check belts and hoses for cracks and wear and tear.
- Have fluids, such as oil and antifreeze topped up.
- Make sure your windshield wipers are in good shape and replace them if necessary. Good windshield wipers can make a huge difference in visibility if you’re driving through a bad storm.
2. Replace any burned-out lights
In winter, it’s critical that your car can be seen – and that you can see other vehicles. With shorter days, you’ll be more dependent on your car lights. In the winter, you often need them during the day if it’s overcast and snowing.
Check that all your lights – headlights, taillights, backup lights, signal lights and hazard lights – work properly and replace bulbs as needed.
3. Dig out your winter tools
Now that you’re putting your summer and fall stuff away, it’s time to get the winter stuff out. You should always have a snow brush and an ice scraper in your car. Carry extras if you can – if you have any passengers, they can help brushing snow and scraping ice!
In addition to a snow brush and an ice scraper, carry extra winter gear in your car. Extra mitts, a hat and a blanket can help keep you warm if you break down. Kitty litter and sand can help you get traction if you spin out and your tires are stuck.
4. Put snow tires on your car
Don’t wait until the first snowfall hits and everyone else makes an appointment to get their snow tires on. Arrange to have your snow tires put on ASAP.
Once you have snow tires on, keep your summer tires in plastic bags and then store them in a place with a consistent temperature. If you don’t have room at home, your mechanic or dealership may be willing to keep them.
Putting snow tires on your car doesn’t just give you peace of mind and make your vehicle safer to drive in the winter. It can also help decrease your auto insurance costs. If you get snow tires, be sure to let your insurance broker know! They’ll apply any applicable discounts.
5. Take preventative steps to avoid your car freezing shut
There’s nothing worse than coming out on a cold morning and finding out you can’t open up your car because it’s frozen shut. There are two great ways to prevent this:
- Spray a graphite-based lubricant into the keyholes of your vehicle.
- Spray a silicone-based rubber lubricant on the weatherstripping in your car doors to keep the seals from sticking together.
These steps don’t need to be taken more than once a year – so remember to do them in November before it starts freezing.
How can Archway Insurance help me with auto insurance?
At Archway Insurance, our brokers live and work in Atlantic Canada, so they know how brutal the winters can be. They’ll ensure you get the right kind of auto insurance, so you’re appropriately protected all year round.
We’ll talk to you about some of the most common kinds of auto insurance coverage, including:
- Collision coverage – this covers the cost of repairing damages from a car accident.
- Comprehensive coverage – this covers damage that isn’t from another vehicle.
- Other coverage – such as coverage that pays for a rental car as needed or the total replacement value of your vehicle.
The type and amount of auto insurance you’ll need varies but our brokers will take the time to find you the right auto insurance for you at the right price.
Winterize your car so you can count on it
Taking some important steps – like getting an overall tune-up and getting snow tires – can help ensure your car runs smoothly all winter.
Winter is also a great time to check your auto insurance coverage. You may need to modify your current auto insurance coverage, depending on how you use your car in the winter. At Archway Insurance, we’ll find the perfect auto insurance package for you.
Contact us about auto insurance
We’re here for your insurance needs in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and PEI. To learn more about auto insurance or any kind of insurance, call Archway Insurance at 1-833-536-0592 or contact us online.