Fall is in full swing, which means winter isn’t far behind. Here at Ottawa Ford, we want to make sure your vehicle is in top shape for the upcoming cold season. Your vehicle runs differently when the temperatures plummet, so read on for our five tips on keeping your vehicle in top shape for the winter season.
Tip #1: Consider Winter Tires
Many people who live in and around Ottawa purchase winter tires for their vehicle at the beginning of the snowy season. Winter tires offer several benefits that help you drive safely when the roads are snowy and icy. First, the rubber is softer, so it gives you better grip as you drive along snowy roads. Second, the tread is much wider for diverting water and ice away. Finally, winter tires have biting edges to help cut through icy terrain. Winter tires should only be used during winter months. Once spring arrives, you’ll want to replace them with lighter all-season or summer tires.
Tip #2: Check Your Battery
When temperatures are colder, it’s much more difficult for your engine to turn over. When you bring your vehicle into our service center at Ottawa Ford, we can check your battery’s voltage for you to make sure it’s providing enough power for your car’s engine to turn over. We can also check your cables for cracks and breaks and ensure the terminals still fit snugly.
Tip #3: Have an Emergency Safety Kit
In case you ever become stranded on the road during a snowstorm, it’s a good idea to keep several items on hand to help get you through several hours until a tow truck arrives. Suggested items to keep in your kit include:
- Blanket, pair of gloves, a hat
- Bag of sand or kitty litter to provide traction in case you get stuck in the snow
- Ice scraper/brush
- Small shovel
Tip #4: Keep Up Regular Maintenance
Here at Ottawa Ford, we can help you make sure you’re meeting your scheduled maintenance times for oil changes and other tasks. We’ll check belts, hoses, and spark plugs to make sure your vehicle is in top shape for winter weather travel. We’ll make sure your oil is the right viscosity for the time of year and your engine. Newer engines can use one type of oil all year round, while others need something a bit thinner for the winter months.
Tip #5: Make Sure Your Four-Wheel Drive Is Operating Correctly
At Ottawa Ford, we can do a quick service check to ensure your four-wheel drive system is in optimal shape. Some Ford vehicles have all-wheel drive that engages automatically, while others have a system that needs to be activated manually. Whatever the case, we’ll make sure your vehicle’s ready for slippery, treacherous roads.
When you follow our five tips, you’ll be ready to take on the snow, cold and ice with confidence, knowing that your vehicle is in top condition.