Every year, your vehicle needs to be ready for our ON winter. The last thing we St. Thomas drivers want is to get stranded out in the cold. We need our vehicles to be safe and reliable. It’s a good idea to get caught up on any neglected maintenance items anytime, but the stakes are higher in the winter for ON drivers.
There are some specific and vital things that we need to do to have our vehicle ready for winter. The most obvious is having the antifreeze checked. If the antifreeze protection is not set correctly it can’t properly protect your engine, radiator and hoses from freezing. If your vehicle does not seem to be making enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze level may be low or you could have a thermostat problem. Get it checked out at The Auto Guys in St. Thomas. If you are due for a cooling system service, now is a perfect time to have it done.
In the cold months we always worry about being able to stop in time when it’s slick out on ON area roads. The first thing for drivers to remember is to slow down and allow plenty of room to stop. A thorough brake inspection at The Auto Guys will reveal if the pads or any other parts need replacing. Check with your The Auto Guys service advisor to see if it is time to replace your brake fluid. It accumulates water over time which really messes with your stopping power.
It is also vital to have your battery tested. A battery’s cranking power really drops with the temperature. If your battery is weak in the fall, it may not be up to winter in ON.
You should always have a blanket or something to keep you and your passengers warm if you get stranded when it’s cold. If you will be leaving the St. Thomas area and venturing away from civilization, pack more items such as food and water to help you survive. Keeping at least half a tank of gas is vital if you get stuck and need to run the car to keep warm and it will help keep your gas lines from freezing up.
It’s a really good idea for St. Thomas drivers to replace their wiper blades in the fall before the ON winter storms. If you live where there’s a lot of snow and ice, you might want a special winter blade that resists freezing up. And be sure to have enough windshield washer fluid.
The final thing for St. Thomas drivers to consider is their tires. Any tire can lose pressure over time, up to 1/2 kg every six or eight weeks. For every 5.6 degrees Celsius the temperature drops in St. Thomas you lose another 1/2 kg of pressure. So if it was 26.7 degrees outside in St. Thomas when you checked your tire pressure two months ago and now it’s 4.4 degrees out, you could be down 2 kg of pressure. That’s enough to be an essential safety issue and it’s also hard on your gas mileage. You may need special winter tires as well. Your The Auto Guys tire professional can help you find the right tire design for your St. Thomas expected road conditions.
If you’re getting winter tires in St. Thomas, it is always best to put them on all four wheels. If you are only getting two, it might be best to put them on the rear even if you have a front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle. This is a very important safety measure recommended by tire manufacturers. Sliding or fish-tailing on ice and snow is a matter of not having enough traction at the rear end. That is why your newest tires should probably always be on the rear. Check with your The Auto Guys service advisor.
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The Auto Guys
135 South Edgeware Rd.
St. Thomas, ON N5P 4C4