Winter is coming – is your car ready?

With the days getting shorter and the temperatures beginning to fall, there is no denying the fact that winter is just around the corner.

Winter is harsh on your skin and your psyche- but can also be hard on your wallet as well, especially if you own a car. Here are some tips on how to get your car ready now to avoid costly repairs when the snow flies.

Check your tires

What kind of shape are your tires in? Do you have snow tires? Depending on where you live, the law may even require you to have snow tires.

Make sure now that your tires are in good condition, and that the treads are not too worn down. If they need replacing, do it now- before you’re faced with dangerous conditions- which may only cause more damage to your car (or to you!). If you are using snow tires get them on now. You may be paying a premium for labour if you wait until the demand spikes.

Also check your air pressure. Low pressure in tires will not only make your gas consumption less efficient, it makes your tires more prone to damage.

Consider a tune-up

As far as preventative maintenance goes, getting a pre-winter inspection on your car can go a long way in saving you money for emergency services or repairs over the winter, when the temperatures begin to figure in to the mechanics of your car.

During a pre-winter inspection, you’ll get the battery and the starter inspected. You’ll also get belts, hoses and lines inspected for cracks and/or tears, which would make them more vulnerable to damage as the temperature drops.

Some of these things can be inexpensively repaired now, vs. big repair bills should the situation worsen with the winter weather.

Emergency kit

A must-have for winter drivers? An emergency kit in your car. Make sure you’ve got blankets, flares, jumper cables and a shovel.  If you need any of these, you will be immensely grateful that you thought ahead!