Stay Safe By Winterizing Your Vehicle

June 16,2021

As winter approaches, now is the time to winterize your vehicle. While modern vehicles are more adept at handling the ice, cold, and snow, there are things you can do to make sure you and your vehicles do not suffer in the winter.
Here in Coquitlam, our winters can be nasty, with bitter winds coming down the Fraser River Valley. Our team at Journey Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram wants you to stay safe on the road. We can help you pick out a new or pre-owned vehicle that is better at handling the winter, or can get you set up with an appointment at our service department to ensure your current vehicle is ready.
What Is Winterizing?
For vehicles manufactured in 1980 and earlier, winterizing was a must. Nowadays, technology makes it less vital, but there are still things you should consider doing.
As a machine, vehicles cannot function properly when conditions get too cold. Winterizing is a process to make sure that your vehicle stays reliable no matter what the weather throws at it.
When a car, truck, or SUV is not winterized, it is at risk of:

Losing Tire Traction

Breaking Down

Engine Problems

Keeping your vehicle in top condition is important all year long, but if oil changes or tire rotation get pushed to the bottom of your to-do list, the end of autumn is the time to prioritize them.
What to Do to Winterize Your Vehicle
Each make and model is going to vary in how well they perform on icy roads, in snow, and in cold temperatures. Some vehicles, such as SUVs, are built to take on challenging roads with ease, while compact sedans may not handle the same conditions so well.
If you are not completely familiar with how your vehicle handles ice and snow, talk to us at Journey Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. We can help you learn the specifics of preparing your vehicle.
General Servicing
No matter what you are driving, the most important thing is to have your vehicle serviced. Be sure to take it to a reputable mechanic. Have them inspect, top off, and make repairs to:

Antifreeze

Battery

Belts

Brakes

Cooling System

Hoses

Other Small Parts

Spark Plugs

Tires

Making sure everything is in top condition going into winter reduces the likelihood of having a winter-related accident.
Switch to Winter Tires
Different kinds of tires are designed for different road conditions. All-season tires can handle mild winters with only a little ice and snow.
For the best traction on slippery snow-covered roads, you want to install winter tires. These tires are specialized for temperatures of 7 degrees Celsius and colder. They have deep grooves to move snow and slush away from the contact surfaces.
Winter tires can be studded or non-studded. Studded tires are only recommended for the most intense winter conditions.
Install Winter Wiper Blades
Regular wiper blades can freeze to your windshield and build up ice. Winter wiper blades are designed to prevent this. They are heavy-duty and should only be used during the winter.
To ensure the best visibility, use a winter washer fluid as well.
Fill Up the Tank
Running out of gas while on a highway in winter is dangerous. Prevent this from happening by keeping your gas tank filled up. Try not to let it drop below half-full, especially if you will be driving in a more remote area.
Winterize Yourself
Making sure your vehicle is ready is only part of winterizing. As the driver, it is important that you are ready for winter, too. If you are new to winter driving, take some time to understand the best driving practices.
Should you hit a patch of black ice or find yourself in white-out conditions, knowing how to handle it is vital.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
Carrying an emergency kit in your vehicle is good all year, but now is the time to check it and restock. Hopefully, you will never need to use your emergency kit, but having one can be life-saving. Consider keeping the following in your vehicle:

Blanket

Car Tool Kit

Chains

Extra Antifreeze

Extra Hat, Coat, and Gloves

First Aid Kit

Flares or Triangles

Flashlight with Spare Batteries

Ice Scraper

Jumper Cables

Non-Perishable Food

Shovel

Water

Knowing what is in your emergency kit will make things much easier should you find yourself in any kind of mishap. Some general guidelines for staying safe if your vehicle breaks down or is stranded are:

Stay in or close to your car to avoid getting lost

Do not leave the vehicle running to avoid running out of gas or carbon monoxide poisoning

Use a light source to get attention

Winter driving is more dangerous than other times of the year. Making sure you and your vehicle are ready will reduce the chances of having an emergency.
Let Us Help You Prepare

Our team at Journey Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram is ready to help you prepare for winter. Go online today to schedule your vehicle’s service appointment.

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