Winter in Northern Ontario is beautiful but can wreak havoc on your vehicle. Here are few simple mid-winter tips to ensure you stay safe and get the most out of your ride this season.
You know that sinking feeling when you approach an intersection and realize the road is a little icier than you anticipated. Aren’t you sick of that?
It’s recommended that you change to winter tires as soon as the temperature drops to 7 degrees and under. When the mercury dips below this point, rubber looses its elasticity, which results in decreased traction. And this can have you sliding into the land of fender benders, snow banks or worse.
Winter tires are designed to improve overall breaking distance and traction on cold pavement, which means a safer ride for you, your passengers and your vehicle. Plus, switching to winter tires and rims can improve the life span of your regular wheel set by lowering the amount of kilometres they spend on the road while saving them from exposure to sand and salt.
Although Northern Ontario has seen temperatures below this point for some time now, it’s never too late to change out your regular tires for winter tires. Even if you’ve made it through the first half of winter unscathed, ask your local dealership about tire specials before you slip up.
Why the right tire pressure is more important than you think. Transport Canada warns that tires can loose 1 psi of pressure for every 5 degree drop in temperature and 2 psi per month due to the permeability of rubber.
Driving on underinflated tires results in lost traction on slippery surfaces and will cause them to wear down quicker – not to mention the handling issues that can occur.
But wait. Before you rush to the nearest gas station to up your tire pressure, problems can arise from an overinflated tire as well. An overinflated tire can cause similar traction and handling issues, as tires make more contact with the centre of the tire and not the entire tread when they’re too pumped up.
It’s best to check tire pressure regularly throughout the winter months to ensure they are correctly inflated. For more information on tire care 101, check out this great article on how and when to check your tire pressure and the reasons your vehicle will benefit from it.
Something you may not know about your car battery.
Car batteries have a tendency to die during the cold winter months. But what you may not know, the cold weather isn’t necessarily the culprit.
Excessive heat exposure during the summer can damage your battery. When it comes time to for it to perform during the winter, and the battery is more taxed by cold weather, symptoms of the damage show up.
According to an article published by Consumer Reports, “A cold battery has reduced cranking power, and cold temperatures thicken motor oil, making it harder to turn the engine over. “
“Modern electrical and fuel systems can mask a weak battery by starting an engine with a minimum of cranking, but when a weak battery is further compromised by cold conditions, it’s more likely to fail.”
It’s important that you ask your service department about battery testing during cold months so you don’t get stuck with a car that fails to start. Dealerships like Superior Nissan offer no charge battery inspection with every service to ensure your vehicle starts reliably and stays on the road.
Give that body some mid-winter love.
The body of your vehicle, that is.
Dirt and road salts can do a number to your vehicle’s paint finish, which decreases its value when you decide to sell or trade it in. And let’s face it; worn paint just doesn’t look nice.
Being proactive at least once during the winter and protecting your car’s paint with a polymer wax creates a barrier against unfriendly elements like sand and salt found on the roads. Add in regular high-pressure car washes to remove grime build up in areas like wheel wells and underbody and your vehicle will thank you.
Superior Customs and Detailing in Sault Ste. Marie offers no-appointment hand washing for your vehicle along with multi-level detailing packages.
Spring is around the corner.
There are only a few months left of winter driving. Hang in there, stay safe and take care your vehicle so it will be in its best condition for warmer days. For more information on safety and maintenance tips, be sure to contact the service department your local car dealership.