Winter Is Coming…Is Your Car Ready

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When winter hits in Atlantic Canada, it hits hard. It’s not uncommon for highways to be impassable and snowdrifts several feet high. The chilly grip of Old Man Winter takes hold and doesn’t let go for months. That’s what the maritimes have to look forward to every year. And we know, winter is coming. Is your car ready?

The winter feels never-ending when you’re not prepared, and it’s compounded when you’re having car trouble. It’s so inconvenient to put your routine on hold to bring your vehicle into the shop for repairs. It might be an antifreeze leak, your car won’t start, or your battery has frozen. Your fuel line might be iced up or your transmission won’t engage into gear.

These, and other issues, are avoidable with a pre-winter check-up. Here are a few things to check so your vehicle is prepared for the coming cold.

  1. Have your battery tested. A weak battery can leave you stranded in the worst weather, unable to turn your engine over. To make things worse, a fully discharged battery can freeze. Once it has frozen, your battery’s life can be considered finished. Keep your battery fully charged, and replace it if it fails its test.
  2. Change your engine oil. Clean, new engine oil provides less friction inside your engine so it starts easier. Synthetic oil is even better as it still flows nicely in subzero temperatures. Have your engine oil and filter replaced before winter starts for the best starts in the coldest of weather.
  3. Inspect your tires. If your engine runs but you don’t have traction, your car is useless to you. Ensure your tires have enough tread to drive safely in the snow and ice. If you have, install your winter tires when the temperature is sustained under 7 degrees celsius. And if you don’t have winter tires, you might want to check into a set for your car.
  4. Check your fluids. Have your transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid checked and topped up. If the fluids are dark or gritty, have them flushed with clean fluid to prevent winter problems. Don’t forget to check your engine coolant strength, and make sure you use winter washer fluid!
  5. Look for a new vehicle. If your car is on its last legs, it may be best to ditch it for new one. Look for a vehicle that is capable of handling the nastiest weather Dartmouth might get. That probably means looking for a four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive car, truck, or SUV so you have the tops in traction.

If you need your car inspected before winter hits, trust it to the professionals at Riley Motor Company. Our certified technicians will perform a comprehensive inspection to ensure your vehicle is winter ready. New or old, we work on them all.

If you decide you’d rather find something new to drive, we can help there too! Check out our vast selection of used cars, trucks, SUVs and vans. Each one is detailed and inspected, ready for your garage.