Prepare Your Vehicle For Winter Driving

A stock photo of a snow-covered road.

How Do You Get Your Car Ready For Winter?

Under the best circumstances, winter driving presents a unique set of challenges to everyone on the road. An Alberta winter can compound those challenges even more. Fortunately, most of the things drivers or vehicle owners need to do are already things that happen through the course of regular maintenance. However, these tasks are so important; our service team believes a clear and concise reminder would be helpful for everyone. The Jack Carter Chevy Service Department has a few tips to help people prepare their vehicles for winter driving. Let’s take a look at some things you might need to know.

READ MORE: How Important Are Winter Tires?

What are the 3 Most Important Winter Car Care Tips?

Extreme temperatures aren’t great operating environments for vehicles. However, very low temperatures, combined with icy and snowy conditions, are particularly tough for cars, trucks and SUVs. Automobiles are made of metal, and metal gets notoriously brittle when the mercury gets well below zero. The following three maintenance items could be the difference between making it through winter safely and being stranded in a dangerous situation.

1. Check The Tread Depth On Your Tires

There is only one automotive component that will always be touching snow or ice — the tires. Overly worn tires are dangerous in good weather, but situations can quickly go from bad to worse when the snow flies. Setting aside the topic of using winter tires, a tread depth that is below the standard will make it almost impossible for them to work on snow- or ice-covered roads. Winter tires are a better solution than using all-season and certainly safer to use than summer tires.

2. Test Your Battery Today!

Few elements of an automobile are more susceptible to struggling in cold conditions than a car’s battery. Before things get frigid and frozen, ensure your battery has enough power to fight through the cold and start the vehicle. This is easily accomplished by attaching a voltmeter. The problem could be as simple as corroded battery terminals – a very easy fix. However, you can always stop by the Jack Carter Chevy Service Department, and we’ll take a look. If the battery is in trouble and might not make it to spring, we’ll help you replace it right away.

3. Install Winter-Ready Wiper Blades

You can’t drive safely if you can’t see out of the windshield. When snow is falling, people need to keep their primary way of seeing out of the vehicle as clear as possible. Replacing regular windshield wipers with winter-rated options can prevent the blades from being clogged with snow and rendered useless. Winter windshield wipers are pretty simple to install at home, but we can help if you run into trouble.

Winter Driving/Vehicle Care Myths

Things have really changed inside the automotive industry over the last several years. Because of all of those shifts in best practices, there are some pervasive myths out there that may be doing more harm than good. Here are a few things people no longer need to do with their cars this winter:

  1. Warm it up — When cars had carburetors, it may have been necessary to get the engine warm before driving in the winter. Modern fuel injectors (and other technological upgrades) have rendered this practice obsolete. In fact, letting a vehicle run for a while before driving just releases unnecessary pollutants and wastes fuel.
  2. 4WD improves stopping powerVehicles with all- or four-wheel-drive are great for winter driving. However, there is this myth out there that having either of these systems will help a car, truck, or SUV stop faster when driving on snow. This is not true, nor has it ever been true. Four-wheel-drive doesn’t change the laws of physics, and driving in the snow will always require extra care from those behind the wheel.
  3. Using the parking brake to stopAnti-lock brakes have completely changed the way we attack winter roads. However, some drivers still believe they need to apply max braking potential by using the parking brake when the tires break free. This is not recommended at all. Using the parking brake could interrupt ABS function and make it challenging to steer around obstacles.

If there is anything Jack Carter Chevy can do to help you get through winter, make an appointment with one of our representatives, today.