Mechanical failure - an inconvenience anytime it occurs - can be deadly in the winter. Preventive maintenance is a must.
- Engine: Get engine drivability problems corrected by one of our skilled professional technicians. Cold weather makes existing problems worse. (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) Replace dirty filters-air, fuel, etc. Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check fluid level monthly. The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.
- Change your oil and oil filter around every 3,000 miles.
- Battery: The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment.
- Exhaust System : Your vehicle should be placed on a lift and the exhaust system examined for leaks. The trunk and floorboards should be inspected for small holes. Exhaust fumes can be deadly.
- Windshield Wipes: Get rubber-clad (winter) blades to fight ice build-up.
- Get on your winter tires if they are still good or buy new ones: examine them them for remaining tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check tire pressures once a month. Check the tires when they are cold, before driving for any distance. Rotate as recommended. Don't forget your spare, and be sure the jack is in good condition.
- Put a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a month and try to keep the tank full.
- The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled every 24 months and the . the level and concentration checked periodically.
- Check the Heater/Defroster and cabin air filter
- Inspect all lights and bulbs
- Chains: If you need to be out there in bad conditions and your vehicle is compatible get them installed by a professional.
Consider these add on protections:
- Spray-in liner for your trucks bed
- Paint protection
Congratulations! You survived another winter in Edmonton. Spring is the time to clean, repair and prepare for warmer weather.
- Store your winter tires. Snow tires are more expensive and wear out faster because of the ticker threads, they should be saved for next winter. If you drive on all season radials, this is the time to rotate them and extend the life of the set.
- Check and replace windshield wiper blades, they also take a beating during winter weather.
- Clean your vehicle's underbody. There's no magic solution to getting rid of the corrosive salt build-up but the best tool is a high-pressure sprayer. Check for signs of rust and take the necessary steps to stop any small rust spots from eating away at your vehicle.
- Examine your brakes. Like wipers, brakes take on a bigger role during wintertime and should be checked to ensure that they've survived. Listen for brake noises such as grinding, chatter, or squeals. Even if your brakes aren't making any distinctive noises, it's still a good idea for you
or your mechanic to determine the amount of wear on the pads or drums. We often become accustomed to the feel of worn brakes, without realizing that what we're used to is a deteriorated ability to stop.
- Check all automotive fluids and top off as necessary. Winter driving conditions require your engine to work harder and deplete fluid levels faster. Some heavy winter drivers change their oil, opting for a thinner weight. Once you feel certain you've seen the last of consistently low temperatures, change back to an oil weight such as 10W/30 (or whatever is recommended in the owner's manual), formulated for warmer temperatures.
- Go over the interior of your vehicle. This includes taking out and washing floor liners. Vacuum and clean the carpets, and make sure they are dry before you put the liners back in.