Winter can be dangerous for unprepared drivers. Canada’s icy and snowy winters can be brutal on your vehicle, especially if you have to park outside overnight. These tricks will help you avoid the five most common winter car problems that drivers face.
Frozen wipers: To keep your wipers from freezing to your windshield, flip up the blades whenever you have to park overnight.
Low tire pressure: As temperatures drop, so does the pressure in your vehicle’s tires. Some experts say as much as a pound of pressure per square inch for each 10-degree drop in temperature. To ensure you’re not rolling around on a low tire, walk around your car before driving it. Also, check your tire pressure regularly, at least once a month. Don’t forget to do the same for your spare tire!
Dead car battery: Freezing temperatures are a drain on your car battery. At -17°C, a car’s battery loses about 60 percent of its strength and at 0°C, it loses 35 percent. Have your battery checked once a month during winter and disconnect any mobile phones, tablets, chargers and other electronic devices when you don’t need them charging, especially when the car is turned off.
Frozen fuel lines: A frozen fuel line occurs when water vapor in the fuel line freezes during cold temperatures. This is a problem because it prevents fuel from getting to the combustion chamber and stops the engine from running. The fastest way to thaw frozen fuel is with a thawing additive like HEET or Quick Thaw. Keep a bottle in the trunk of your car all winter so you’re not caught unprepared. It’s also a good idea to keep your tank near full so water vapor doesn’t even have a chance to accumulate.
Metal corrosion: With all the salt on the roads to melt the ice, it’s easy for salt to accumulate on your vehicle and damage your paint job over time. To prevent metal corrosion, wash your car frequently during the winter months to remove salt build up. Remember to clean the undercarriage as well.
Don’t forget to contact your broker and confirm that your auto policy covers you for anything unexpected.