Getting Your Car Ready For Winter


As mentioned in our article about needing winter tires, winter sucks in Toronto. The average winter in the GTA dips below -3 degrees Celcius, and with that cold comes many potential issues with your vehicle. We've already discussed how the cold will affect your tires and make driving in the snow difficult. However, the cold will also thicken your oil, your fuel consumption is higher, and it's possible your windshield and engine block will crack from the cold. So here are some things you can do to make your car ready for our awful Toronto winter.

Put Your Winter Tires On

As we've mentioned, all-season tires lose grip in the cold and will slip and slide all over a slushy road. You don't want to drive down the QEW and lose all traction and slide into another car. Make sure you get winter tires and put them on before the snow falls. Once it starts snowing, EVERYONE is going to be trying to put on their tires. So book an appointment to get your tires on ASAP.

Top Up Your Fluids

Antifreeze is super important in the winter. It's put in your car to lower the temperature in which your coolant freezes so you want to make sure it's full and ready for winter. Washer fluid is also extremely important to keep topped up for visibility. Make sure you have a washer fluid that has a strength level that works for your area. In Toronto, I'd recommend using one that's at least -30.

Have A Survival Kit In Your Vehicle

This could save your life. Sometimes, your vehicle might break down. Whether it's because of running out of gas, blowing a tire or getting into an accident you might find yourself sitting on the side of the road without a running vehicle. Make sure you have a kit to keep you warm and visible in the snow. Key things you should include are; wiper fluid, ice scraper, booster cables, winter clothing (blankets, gloves, toques), kitty litter (this is great for increasing tire traction in a pinch), flashlights and non-perishable food items like granola bars.

Check Your Windshield Wipers

Good wipers are so important in the GTA. You will need them in snowy and wet days, and wipers are relatively cheap so it's not something you should be stingy on.

Make Sure Your Battery Is Charged

Imagine heading out to work at 7 AM and it's -20 degrees. That's already miserable enough, but now imagine trying to turn on your car, and nothing happens. It's not fun. So get your vehicle to a local shop and have your battery tested. If you'd rather test the battery yourself, there are plenty of tutorials online like this one.

Keep Your Gas Tank As Full As Possible

Not only will this ensure you don't run out and get stranded in the cold, but it will also lower the chance of your gas line freezing. As gas evaporates in the fuel lines, it will create a layer of water vapour on the side of the line that could freeze in the cold winter weather.