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Cold Weather Car Care: How to Prep Your Vehicle for Winter

2021  ford  explorer  platinum  s u v  l09

As the temperatures drop and snowflakes start to fall, it's time to give your vehicle some extra attention. Winter driving can be challenging, but with the right preparations, you can navigate the roads safely and with confidence. In this blog post, we'll guide you through essential steps to get your vehicle ready for the cold winter season.

1. Check Your Tires:

One of the most critical aspects of winterizing your vehicle is ensuring your tires are up to the task. Consider switching to winter or all-weather tires for improved traction on icy and snowy roads. Check the tread depth and inflation levels regularly to maintain optimal performance. If you're on the fence about winter tires and if they make a difference, check out our blog on this topic here

2. Test Your Battery:

Cold weather can put a strain on your vehicle's battery, making it more likely to fail. Have your battery tested to ensure it's holding a charge and replace it if necessary. This is a crucial precaution that can save you from a chilly roadside breakdown. Find more tips on keeping your battery in tip top shape this winter with our blog post here.

3. Top Up Fluids:

Antifreeze, also known as coolant, is vital for preventing your engine from freezing in cold temperatures. Check the levels and top up if needed. Additionally, make sure to have your windshield washer fluid reservoir filled with a winter-grade solution that won't freeze.

4. Inspect Lights and Signals:

Visibility is crucial in winter conditions, so ensure all lights and signals are working correctly. Replace any burnt-out bulbs and consider upgrading to brighter, more visible options like LEDs or HIDs. Clean the lenses to maximize their effectiveness as well!

5. Replace Wiper Blades:

Wiper blades can wear down over time, reducing their effectiveness in clearing snow and ice from your windshield. Install new, high-quality blades that are designed for winter conditions. It's a small investment that makes a significant difference in your visibility. Drayton Valley Ford has wipers on for $16.99 each, grab yours today and have them installed for you, free of charge! Find more details on wiper blades & when you should replace them here.

6. Maintain Your Heating System:

Nobody wants to be stuck in a cold car during winter. Have your heating system inspected to ensure it's in good working order. This includes checking the heater core, heat circulation, and coolant levels. Address any issues promptly to stay warm and comfortable on the road.

7. Pack an Emergency Kit:

Even with the best preparations, unforeseen circumstances can still arise. Assemble a winter emergency kit that includes essentials like a blanket, extra clothing, non-perishable food, a flashlight, batteries, and a first-aid kit. These items can provide comfort and safety in case of an unexpected situation. For a full list of recommended items, check out our blog post where we lay it all out for you here.

8. Keep at least half a tank of fuel

Winter weather often bring with it travel delays due to poor road conditions. Keeping your gas tank more than half full reduces the risk of running out of gas, and the means to keep your vehicle running and warm.  

Staying fueled up will also reduce condensation in your tank that can cause ice in your fuel lines and no-start situations. It also keeps your fuel pump cool. The motor of your electric fuel pump needs gasoline to act as coolant so when you are running low, the pump sucks in air, generating heat. Over time that heat will cause premature wear and even failure of your fuel pump.

Winterizing your vehicle is a proactive way to ensure your safety and peace of mind during the colder months. By following these essential steps, you'll be well-prepared to tackle the challenges of winter driving. Remember, a little preparation goes a long way in making your winter journeys safe and enjoyable.

If you need a quote on tires, our parts team is happy to write one up for you by emailing If you'd like to book for a battery replacement, tire swap, battery test or any other service, feel free to book online here or call us at 780-542-4438!

Stay warm, stay safe, and happy driving!

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