Winterizing your vehicle is a lot like making an appointment for your annual physical. It’s something you need to do every year. It’s something you may second-guess spending too much time on, and yet you know it’s worth it.
Our expertly trained technicians at Mohawk Ford make the winterizing process smooth and easy with online appointment scheduling and super-fast turnaround times. We know your time is valuable, so we don’t keep you waiting!
We thoroughly check your vehicle to ensure that you are as safe and confident as you can be when you are out and about during our cold Hamilton winters.
Consider Winter Tires
Not so long ago, we called them snow tires; however, since then the technology has changed. Winter tires are appropriate when temperatures drop and stay at or below freezing. They don’t require snow on the ground to function at their best. Made from more flexible rubber, winter tires are engineered to increase traction and prevent slips or slides on cold, frozen, or snowy roadways.
We know winter tires are a little more expensive than standard tires, but they are well worth it. Plus, after the winter season ends, winter tires can be safely stored and reused for several seasons.
Check Air Pressure
Recommended air pressure for the tires on your vehicle is located on the sticker inside your driver’s side door. In extreme cold, we advise that you keep your air pressure a little lower than is recommended.
Always check air pressure before you plan a long highway trip. It’s much easier to check the air pressure in a warm, comfortable, safe space rather than changing a tire on the side of a miserably cold, dangerous, snowy road.
Batteries have an average lifespan of four to five years, but winter months put a little added stress on even a new battery. If you know your battery is older, go ahead and replace it. Ask your technician to double-check all your cable connections, battery caps, and wiring to ensure your battery is road-ready for winter.
Check Windshield Wipers
Most of the time, drivers realize they need new wipers when they turn on the wipers to use them! At that point, it’s too late. You should change your windshield wipers every six to twelve months. Go ahead and check your windshield wipers now. Look specifically for chips or dings on the blade. Do your wipers make a scraping or shuddering noise across the windshield? Do the wipers smear instead of clear the glass? If so, it’s time for a new pair. Ask your technician to replace them with wipers engineered for frost, ice, and snow. You want to be able to see where you’re going, and good wipers are a great start!
Antifreeze is a colored liquid additive that technicians add to all engine coolants during the winter months. Antifreeze keeps all water-based coolants used in your vehicle from freezing in cold weather. Not only should antifreeze be added to your radiator fluid, but also to windshield wiper fluid, too. For our area, we recommend a 70/30 antifreeze blend to coolants.
You should be changing your oil every 3000 miles. If you’re approaching your oil change milestone, ask the technician to change your oil to one that has a lower viscosity.
Cold weather makes engine oil move much more slowly through your engine. Lower viscosity oil helps the oil get to all the places it’s supposed to go. If you change your own oil, a lower number before the W on the oil bottle is best.
Expect the Unexpected
Especially if you travel with children or older adults, you must be prepared for unexpected emergencies. Should you break down or be forced to wait in cold temperatures on the side of the road, your waiting game will be much better if you are ready.
Grab an old gym bag and pack it with emergency items, just in case. Be sure you place the bag so that it is easily accessible to you from inside the vehicle. (Don’t put it in the trunk so that you would have to leave the security of your vehicle to access it.)
Think about your passengers and be sure to include things that will help make their wait more pleasant, too. The happier everyone can remain, the better! Some examples of things to pack in your bag:
Extra blankets and a travel pillow or two; maybe a couple of pairs of warm socks
Non-perishable food items: trail mix, jerky, granola bars, hard candy
Flashlights with extra batteries
Reflector triangles or road flares
Small first-aid kit: bandages, antibacterial wipes, gloves, gauze, tape, and aspirin
Magazines, books, coloring books, and crayons (for young travelers)
Winterizing doesn’t take long at all, especially with our Mohawk Ford service department. Our service technicians are ready to make sure that your vehicle is road-ready. Call or email Mohawk Ford to schedule your winterizing appointment. You will feel more safe and confident if you do!