October is Car Safety Month which means it's time to make sure your wheels are ready for the winter season ahead.
You know it's coming, the snow, slush and cold weather. Canadian winters demand you take extra caution on the road and with your car. Don't get caught unprepared. It's time to schedule a visit with your mechanic to do a tune-up and inspection of your vehicle now before we're knee deep in snow.
October is Car Safety Month
October is the perfect time to get your car ready for the challenges that come with winter. Be Car Care Aware (the folks behind Car Safety Month) recommend that you make sure that all of the following are checked or inspected by your mechanic when getting your seasonal tune-up:
- Your vehicle's fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake, and transmission fluids, as well as the windshield washer fluid and antifreeze/coolant
- The hoses and belts to make sure they are not cracked, brittle, frayed, or loose
- The battery to ensure connections are clean, tight and free of corrosion
- The brake system including the brake linings, rotors, and drums
- The exhaust system to look for leaks, damage, or broken components
- Your vehicle's heating, ventilating and air conditioning system to not only ensure your comfort but also safety because if it isn't working properly defrosting may be affected
- The steering and suspension system including shock absorbers, struts, as well as chassis components
- Your tires, including tire pressure, tread and wear
- Your windshield wipers and lighting (interior and exterior) to ensure you can see and will be seen when on the road
DIY Car Safety Month To-Dos
While there are certain things your mechanic can do for you, there are a couple of items that you'll have to take on yourself to ensure you're ready for the winter:
- Take out of hiding your winter car safety kit. With a few basic items handy in your car, you could find yourself getting back on the road quicker if you run into problems while out and about.
- Keep an eye on the weather and the date if you change your tires seasonally. Generally, it's recommended that winter tires be installed when the temperatures dip to 7° Celsius, however for insurance purposes they should typically be on the car from November until April.
Also, if you change your tires seasonally make sure your auto insurer knows. Many insurers offer a winter tire discount that, if available, could help you save up to 5 per cent on your premiums.
Does your car insurance need a tune-up too?
Your car insurance may also be in need of some regular maintenance. At Kanetix.ca, you can compare car insurance quotes to see if you can get the coverage you need at a price that won't give you the chills.