Real Winter


Winter is here. I can attest to that. Long johns are now a part of my everyday wardrobe.

I am here to tell you that your car knows it is winter as well. Since it is an inanimate object you must respond to its winter needs. What are some of those needs? What can you do to meet them?

The modern day automobile is designed to survive a Canadian winter. It can basically get by without much intervention on the owner’s behalf. That does not mean you should ignore it.

The most likely way you have been ignoring your vehicle is skipping regular maintenance items. There are still a list of maintenance items that are generally the owner’s responsibility as they are required more often than the trips you make to an actual mechanic.

These are the little things. They are a lot more important than you think. Some of these items require attention each and every time you fill your vehicle with fuel. Fluid levels in particular. Engine oil level comes immediately to my mind.

The modern automobile is designed to go further in both time and distance between oil changes and that means you need to check the oil level. All engines burn some oil, some more than others. For some vehicles burning one litre in two thousand kilometres is not uncommon. If your oil is not kept in the full range for the whole length of an oil change you are inflicting unnecessary wear and tear on your engine.

Sure, you bought yourself the best winter tires your money could buy but you skipped tire pressure sensors for your winters. You better be prepared to check those tire pressures at least once a month. Low pressures waste gas, increase tire wear, and have a deleterious effect on traction and handling.

Your car would definitely benefit from a fresh coat of wax and some undercoating. Today’s automobiles are much more robust when it comes to corrosion but some tender loving undercoating and waxing will go a long way to keeping the vulnerable parts from a shortened existence.

You may be satisfied with lights that turn on when you flick the switch but it is advantageous if you do drive at night that your lights are in prime condition. Lenses cloud over and bulbs produce less light with time and use. Consider buying new bulbs and getting those headlight lenses polished up. If you do have fog lights and they are not working you might consider getting them up and running again. Fog is more prevalent in the winter and more of a problem when you can’t see the lines on the road.

If you are feeling your vehicle deserves a real spa treatment than might I suggest premium synthetic lubricants for your engine, transmission, transfer case and front and rear differentials if so equipped. Your vehicle will thank you.

Christmas is coming you know. I wish all my long johns were merino wool. Don’t you?

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