August 31, 2016

Getting Your Vehicle Winter Ready

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Getting Your Vehicle Winter Ready - Winter Vehicle Maintenance Checklist

Summer is sadly coming to a close, and if you're like us, you put a lot of miles on your vehicle this season. Whether it was driving to visit relatives, a day at the beach, or even a long weekend at the cottage, our family was always on the go this summer

As the calendar starts to move away from summer, it is time to start thinking about what lies ahead. I don't know about you, but we live in an area that typically gets a decent amount of cold, ice and snow over the winter. With that winter weather, comes winter driving. The cold weather wreaks havoc on the roads, significantly affecting driving conditions and as a result, testing the limits of your vehicle's abilities. 

While safety is an important consideration all year long, there are certainly some extra precautions specific to the colder weather. Make sure your vehicle is up to the challenge with this winter vehicle maintenance checklist.

Getting Your Vehicle Winter Ready - Winter Vehicle Maintenance Checklist

Winter Vehicle Maintenance Checklist

▢  Swap out your tires. 
Winter tires improve driving safety by providing better traction in snow, slush and icy conditions. Check for wear before installing and check tire air pressure frequently, as it decreases in cold weather. 

▢  Check your brakes. 
With the slippery road conditions that winter brings, being able to stop quickly is even more important than usual.

▢  Top up your fluids. 
This includes oil, antifreeze and windshield washer fluid. Carry extra in your vehicle, just to be safe.

▢  Inspect all lights and bulbs. 
Having properly working head lights, tail lights and brake lights is important, especially at times when visibility is reduced due to snowy conditions.

▢  Inspect your wiper blades. 
Ice and snow can easily damage the blades, so it may be best to install a new pair at the start of the season. Think about switching to winter blades - they are heavier and push snow and ice more easily.

▢  Keep it clean, inside and out. 
The salt, sand and chemicals used on the roads can have a big impact on your vehicle. Washing your vehicle during the winter is very important to ward off rust caused by the salt and chemicals. Having the proper interior floor mats will also help keep the inside of your car free from moisture, debris and chemical residues that you track in.

▢  Stay fuelled up.  
You never know when the winter weather will hit, and the last thing you want to do is run out of gas on a snowy day.

▢  Create a winter emergency kit. 
A well stocked kit can be a lifesaver if you find yourself stranded. Items to include are jumper cables, flares, an ice scraper, flashlights with extra batteries, blankets and extra clothing, hats and gloves, first aid materials, snacks and water. Make sure to store your kit in an easily accessible place. 

▢  Change your air filters. 
It is important to change both your engine and cabin air filters to improve airflow and prevent dust, dirt and allergens from entering both the engine and cabin. Dirty cabin air filters can even reduce the efficiency of your vehicle’s defrost and heating system, the last thing you want during the cold months of winter. It is recommended to change your engine and cabin air filters at the same time, annually or every 24,000km*. (*Please consult you vehicle's manual for specific requirements.) 

Now you can protect your family and improve your driving comfort with a FRAM Fresh Breeze® cabin air filter. Made with a special media that includes carbon and Arm & Hammer® baking soda, the FRAM Fresh Breeze® cabin air filter prevents up to 98% of dirt, dust and allergens from entering your vehicle. Clean filters mean a more efficient vehicle, and a more comfortable you. 

Getting Your Vehicle Winter Ready - Winter Vehicle Maintenance Checklist

With precious cargo in tow, keeping the air inside our vehicle is extremely important. With the help of the installation instructions found inside the box, my husband and I were able to tackle the FRAM Fresh Breeze® cabin air filter in as little as 15 minutes. First, we opened the glove box and removed the contents. We located the glove box stops on each side of the glove box and removed them by twisting from the inside and pulling out. The glove box dampener cord on the right side of the glove box was then removed, allowing the glove box to swim down to the floor. We unlatched and removed the cabin filter cover and removed the dirty filter. We were definitely due for a change, it was pretty nasty! We inserted the new FRAM Fresh Breeze® cabin air filter and then replaced and relatched the filter cover. After putting the glove box back into position, we reinstalled the dampener cord to the right side of the glove box and then partially closed it to reinstall the two glove box stops. After replacing the contents and closing the door, my husband even said, "Wow, that was surprisingly easy!" I foresee many more at-home cabin air filter changes in our future. 

Getting Your Vehicle Winter Ready - Winter Vehicle Maintenance Checklist

FRAM Fresh Breeze® cabin air filters and FRAM engine air filters can be found in the automotive department at your local Canadian Tire. Not sure if your vehicle has a cabin air filter, or are unsure of the model specific to your vehicle? Be sure to ask a staff member at the Canadian Tire automotive desk. 

Getting Your Vehicle Winter Ready - Winter Vehicle Maintenance Checklist

Whether its winter, summer, spring or fall, maintaining your vehicle is extremely important to not only protect yourself and prolong the life of your vehicle, but also to keep your family and others on the road safe and sound. 

What trips did you take with your family this summer? How do you get your vehicle winter ready? Check out these additional tips and tricks for changing your air filter. 

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