CAR CARE: Vehicle maintenance increases road safety

NANAIMO: Keeping your car in top form is especially important in winter.

Fall and winter is a beautiful time to experience Canada.

Unfortunately, it can also be a dangerous time, particularly when you are driving.

Icy roads can be treacherous, and a dead battery can leave you stranded.

Keeping your car in top form is especially important in winter.

Inspect your vehicle thoroughly before heading out onto the road, and make sure you have adequate insurance coverage.

Car Care Canada’s website shares these winter maintenance tips:

Check the battery –If it is four years old or older, have it checked at a service station to make sure it will start in bitter temperatures.

Check the fluids – Top up power steering, brake and transmission fluid, oil and antifreeze/coolant. (antifreeze/coolant should be flushed and refilled every two years or 50,000 kilometres.) Replace your windshield fluid with one specially formulated to cut through ice and snow.

Consider winter weight oil – Consult your owner’s manual to see if a winter weight oil is recommended for cold months, and remember to change your oil every 5,000 km.

Check it over – Check the function of your heater, defroster, lights and windshield wipers. Replace your wiper blades every six months, and consider the added power of winter blades.

Change to snow tires – Traction is essential when you are driving on snow and ice. Winter tires offer traction,  and peace of mind.

Repair cracks or dings in your windshield – Freezing temperatures can turn small nicks into gaping cracks that destroy your windshield. Have them repaired before it’s too late.

Keep your gas tank at least half full – A fuller tank resists moisture/ice formation inside your gas line.

Be well-equipped – Keep these items in your vehicle in case of emergency: snow brush/ice scraper, booster cables, flashlight, first-aid kit, blanket, extra clothes, bottled water, snacks and necessary medications.

News Canada