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. So don't get caught unprepared. Get your car ready for the winter and schedule a visit with a mechanic to do a tune-up and inspection of your vehicle now before we're knee deep in snow.
- Related Read: Winter Driving Tips—Top 10 Myths and Mistakes
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 in October to minimize the chance of a costly repair bill later down the road:
- Your vehicle's fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission fluids, windshield washer, and antifreeze/coolant
- The hoses and belts to make sure they are not cracked, brittle, frayed, loose, or showing signs of excessive wear
- The battery to ensure connections are clean, tight and corrosion-free
- The brake system including brake linings, rotors, and drums
- The exhaust system to look for leaks, damage, or broken components
- Your vehicle's heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) 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, ball joints, tie rod ends etc.
- Your tires, including tire pressure, tread and uneven 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 will do for you, there are a couple of items that you'll have to take on as well 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 be on the car from November until April.
Also, if you change your tires seasonally make sure your auto insurer knows, especially if you live in Ontario. As of January 1, 2016, all Ontario car insurance providers must offer a winter tire discount to policyholders who change their tires seasonally, and the discount 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, we shop the market to help you get the lowest rate, and our customers save an average of $750 because of it. Compare car insurance quotes today to see if you can get the coverage you need at a better price.