Shifting Into Winter – Are You Road Ready?

The days are shorter and chillier, and trees are bursting with colour across the region, and that can only mean the first snowflakes will be arriving soon. Living in Simcoe County is a guarantee that winter will be snowy and icy, so now is the time to think about getting your vehicle ready for the treacherous months ahead.

Whether you spend your time manoeuvering city streets or you make the daily commute south, winterizing is about safety and comfort, says Jacqueline Forth, general manager at DDF Automotive in Barrie.

“The top thing to consider as winter approaches is rustproofing, especially around here because vehicles are very vulnerable in this environment with road salt. It’s hard to sell a vehicle that has rust and you want the body to last as long as your engine,” she said, adding that getting your car oil sprayed in the fall can save money down the road. The entire underbody of the car is sprayed with a thick oil mixture that acts as a barrier between the car and the debris on the road, reducing the corrosive ice melt and salt from damaging the car.

Once the safety issues, like wiper blades, winter tires and topped up fluids are taken care of, Forth has some suggestions for commuters that will make the winter drive more bearable; maybe even enjoyable!

“Remote starters are increasing in popularity and they allow you to start your car on your phone and to see the temperature of your car, so you can wait until its all ready to go and then just hop on the highway in comfort,” she said. 

Weathertech floor mats are digitally cut to fit the vehicle and keep carpets and pant legs clean and dry, also saving drivers money in the long run. 

Here are some tips from the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) to get your car winter road ready:

Switch to winter tires – they do a better job than all season tires when the temperature drops below 7C. Also, check your tire pressure to ensure the best possible traction.

Windshield Wiper Blades should be replaced any time they are cracked, torn or don’t clear the glass completely.

Batteries have a tougher job in the winter, so test your battery to see if it can handle the job and make sure the cables are in good shape and there is no corrosion on the terminals.

An emergency kit can be a life saver in a bad snowstorm. Make sure you have a blanket, candles, matches, energy snacks and a shovel in your vehicle. Also, pack a pair of boots for safety and warmth.

Winter-specific washer fluid resists freezing and can clean away winter grime including road salt. Always carry a spare jug.

Coolant should be tested in the fall because it gradually deteriorates and may not adequately protect your engine and cooling system.

Low viscosity oil performs best in winter, so that it flows quickly through your engine and prevents wear and damage, and reducing friction – also keeping your engine clean and long lasting.

Safe Drive!

Local Links

DDF Automotive

Canadian Automobile Association


by Robin MacLennan

Winter Driving

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