Toronto winters are notorious for being harsh for Torontonians, and they are equally as harsh on our cars. The good news is, just like we can prepare ourselves with a warm wardrobe for the cooler weather, we can prepare our vehicles to protect them from common winter problems that rear their head every year without fail.
With a little bit of time and preparation, you and your care can be better equipped to handle rough Toronto winters so that you can spend more time enjoying all the beauty and serenity the season has to offer.
Consider the steps you can take to prevent some of the more common car problems experienced during winters in Toronto.
Avoid Frozen Windshield Wipers: Check Your Windshield Wiper Blades
It’s common for windshield wipers to freeze to your windshield at low temperatures, which is why it’s important to check your windshield wiper blades regularly. Frozen windshield wipers can also result in torn blades and can mean the inability to clean your windshield on the road.
If and when you notice that your wiper blades have experienced some wear and tear, buy new ones ahead of winter to start the season off with strong wipes that can help keep your windshield free of ice and snow while driving. After all, windshield wipers that don’t work can be incredibly dangerous when on the road during winter, especially during snowy or rainy days.
You can use a soft cloth with full-strength alcohol to wipe each blade to help unfreeze them, but it’s best to try to avoid this scenario altogether. Consider planning and visiting a car dealership in Toronto to invest in special winter wiper blades better equipped against cold conditions.
To prevent frozen wipers, you can also lift them or cover them with your old socks overnight or cover the windshield with a piece of material like a cloth or piece of cardboard. This way, if there is any snow on your car, you can take it off easily when you remove the material in the morning.
Avoid Dead Batteries: Charge, Check Your Battery & Keep Driving
The fact of the matter is that car batteries often go dead in the winter. It turns out, car batteries like the cold even less than we do. As temperatures drop, so does the strength of car batteries. A half-charged battery can freeze at just 23.33°C. The good news is that there are numerous things you can do to prevent your battery from dying in the winter and leaving you stranded.
Firstly, get your battery checked to confirm its strength. Secondly, keep it moving. Drive your car every day for 10 minutes or longer. Like humans, cars need exercise to maintain energy. When you drive, the acid in the car battery keeps moving, which keeps the charge going into it and helps prevent the battery from freezing.
On the note of charge, the most important thing is to keep your battery charged, especially since batteries tend to be less efficient and hold less charge in lower temperatures. It tends to be harder to charge your battery in the cold, which is why you will want to visit a dealership that has more experience with this. It’s always good to have jumper cables on hand if you – or someone you pass on the road – experienced a dead battery.
Avoid a Low or Flat Tire: Invest in Snow Tires
A flat tire is a nuisance any time of the year, but they are that much more likely in the winter. As temperatures drop, so does the pressure in your tire, resulting in a flat or lower tire. This can be dangerous in the wintertime when traction is key, which is why you will want to make sure your tires are properly inflated.
The best route to ensure you can safely drive in the winter snow is to switch out your tires to heavier winter tires that are more resistant to the pressure of low temperature.