Winter can be brutal here in Toronto, so it’s vital that your car is prepared for the snow, slush, and ice that comes with the colder season. You’ll want to switch out your standard tires for ones that are specifically made for winter. While you may have all-season tires currently, actual winter tires are better because they have increased traction and help you stop quicker.
In addition to installing winter tires, you will want to check them throughout the season for the following:
Proper inflation – Under- or overinflated tires can cause you to lose grip on the road and slip or slide. Use the owner’s manual to know the ideal pressure for your car’s tires.
Wear and tear – Sharp objects can hide under snow and could pierce the tires or cause them to be worn down extensively. Check them once every few weeks before you head out.
Check the battery
The extreme heat of summer can do quite a bit of damage to your vehicle. As such, you’ll want to have it checked to ensure that it can power your car in winter. You’ll also want to check for any signs of corrosion on the terminals and check cable connections. If you’re not sure how to do any or some of this, you can bring your vehicle to our team at Downtown Toyota to do this for you.
Replace wiper blades
After a rainy spring, an especially hot summer, and fall as well, your vehicle’s windshield wipers may need some attention. Check the rubber blades for any signs of wear, like cracks or tears. If you leave these on your car, your visibility will be limited when it rains or snows this winter, as damaged wipers can cause streaking on the windshield.
Check up on fluids
The change in seasons is always a good time to check under the hood for fluid levels. Along with an oil change, you will want to see if anything else needs to be replaced or filled up. Check up on the following fluids:
Don’t skip the car wash
While the summer months are usually the busiest time for car washes, you’ll want to maintain this practice even in winter. Protect your car’s paint job from slushy snow and rock salt by getting it washed regularly. You may want to splurge on protective waxing during these months to go the extra mile with keeping the paint looking fresh. If possible, the best way to protect your vehicle’s exterior is to park in a garage or to invest in a high-quality car cover.
Install all-weather mats
If you’re keen on keeping your car’s interior in pristine condition, you’ll need to keep the salt and slush of winter out of the cabin. One of the best ways to protect your car’s fabric materials (such as the floor boards) is to upgrade to all-weather mats. These are typically made of rubber and can be easily cleaned. Contact our Parts Department if you need assistance choosing the ideal floor mats for your car.
Make an emergency kit
Getting stranded in the middle of nowhere is bad enough, but when it’s -35° C, it makes for a potentially dangerous situation. Be sure to have the essentials in your vehicle at all times. This could include:
A small shovel
A rechargeable flashlight (or one with extra batteries)
Some kind of multi-tool, like a Swiss Army knife
An ice scraper
Blankets, hand warmers, and heat packs
Phone charging cable
With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to an enjoyable winter season in your vehicle. If you need to stop by and discuss anything with our team at Downtown Toyota in Toronto, Ontario, we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have!