You may do a stellar job preparing your vehicle before winter but as the months go by, a mild Kelowna winter has some of us thinking, “I’ll just deal with that in the spring”, or, “My vehicle is fine, it’s not even that cold.”
But as the most wonderful time of the year brings in the white stuff, Okanaganers don’t stay home and hunker down. NO! We head to the slopes, out for a snowshoe hike or to the cabin for a weekend of snowmobiling. Your vehicle is what gets you there safe and sound.
Whatever this Kelowna winter gifts us for the weather, be prepared to take it on with this list of top vehicle maintenance tips:
Winter Tires and Frequent Checks
Winter tires are probably the most obvious and essential step in winter maintenance. They make a huge difference when controlling your vehicle in snow and the vehicle’s ability to stop. All good things! Are we right? But, winter tires can be confusing.
The most common questions we hear are:
Will my all-seasons work in all winter conditions?
What make of winter tire is the best?
Are my tires still good enough for one more winter?
We are here to answer these questions and more.
NOTE: An important step most people miss is to check their tires throughout the winter season to ensure they are well inflated, have good tread, and are damage-free.
Wash Your Vehicle
Kelowna winters are slushy, dirty, snowy, wet, icy, warm and cold. With no rhyme or reason to the weather, when is a good time to wash your vehicle? Often! Plan a good wash and wax before the winter hits so you can fend off a lot of the sand and salt that’s about to build up on your vehicle. Throughout winter, treat your vehicle to frequent washes to get the “yuck” out of every crevasse and seam of your car – especially the area between the front grille and tires.
Have Your Oil Checked and Changed
For your car to perform at its best during the winter season, oil is key. As part of our unsurpassed maintenance services to our Motor Werke customers, we always ensure that oil levels are optimal as well as the proper oil is being used for winter temperatures. Our European auto experts in Kelowna are trained to know each make and model’s oil specifications.
Check Windshield Wipers
Slush in Kelowna is inevitable. One of the first places dirty road slush hits? Your windshield, of course. We highly recommend checking your wipers all winter long. When visibility is poor and your wipers are on their last swipe, it can be extremely dangerous. Our auto experts always check windshield fluid levels plus the correct type of windshield fluid is being used; specially made for the colder temperatures with de-icing capabilities.
Test All Heaters
Running to the car to escape the cold and the heater won’t kick in? When we inform our clients that we check their vehicle heaters, we usually hear, “I never even thought to check those.” That’s why we’re here! With the coldest months right around the corner, checking heaters along with defrosting mechanisms in windshields and exterior mirrors are critical components on our winter maintenance checklist.
Inspect Radiator Fluids
Have you inspected your radiator fluids lately? Our team of auto experts checks that fluid levels are to specifications with quality antifreeze. Ignoring the radiator and antifreeze levels could cause the liquids to freeze and/or create a build-up causing preventable damage such as leaks or transmission failure.
To Idle Or Not To Idle
When starting your car in the winter, is it necessary to “warm up the engine”? We don’t know who started this myth, but it isn’t quite correct. It doesn’t take long to warm up an engine and driving it (nicely) will warm up the vehicle quicker and more efficiently. Less idling is better for the environment too!
NOTE: If you have a vehicle that doesn’t get out much in winter, you should start that car at least once per week to circulate fluids and keep your car in good working order for the spring. Fifteen minutes each session should do it!
Keep The Emergency Kit Close
It can get cold, FAST! Especially up in the mountains. Hope for the best, plan for the worst and keep an emergency kit in your car at all times. Always keep your cellphone as fully charged as possible as well – just in case you need to make a few phone calls to find help.
Important items to keep in your winter emergency kits:
Non-perishable food items
Keep Your Car Battery Charged
Dead of winter with a dead battery? Car batteries typically last about 5 years. If your battery is approaching is expiry date, and the cold is setting in, we suggest bringing it in for an inspection by our auto experts. The colder it gets, the better chance you have of it giving up on you. Frequent checks of your battery are always important but especially during the winter.
At Motor Werke, we take the care of your vehicle and your safety very seriously. We take it so seriously, that some of our maintenance services are complimentary. Ask us about these and other complimentary services which include shuttle service, courtesy cars, and vehicle pickup and drop off.
From winter tire installation to a full vehicle winter maintenance check, Motor Werke is always here to help get you and your loved ones to your destinations in safety and comfort.