South Trail Kia
Posted on December 10, 2019
Mother Nature throws all manner of challenges at drivers in Calgary during the winter. And, while there isn't much you can do about the weather, there are plenty of things you can do to get ready for the Canadian winter.
All-season radials are great for climates with moderate temperature swings, but Calgary is not one of those places. Winter tires use a softer tread compound that stays more flexible than all-season tires when temps take a dive. They improve braking, traction, and handling in all cold weather conditions and especially when there's snow on the ground. Installing winter tires also helps your summer or all-season radials last longer.
Our cold Calgary winters have put an end to many car batteries that worked perfectly fine, just days before. Cold temperatures slow the battery's chemical reaction. The reduced output coupled with a colder engine and thicker motor oil has left many Canadians stranded during the winter months. Ask your technician to perform a load test on your car's battery with your next oil change. Also, check for signs of corrosion. Corrosion around a battery's terminals inhibits the flow of electricity between the car's starter and its battery. Corrosion can prevent a vehicle from starting just as surely as a weak battery.
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Signs of a malfunctioning HVAC system include improper cabin temperature, little or no airflow or unusual noises coming from the vents, and fogging while defrosting the windshield. A properly functioning HVAC system will keep you warm and your vehicle's windows clear, as well. Oddly enough, issues with the HVAC system may also cause your car to overheat, even on the coldest winter days.
Most people forget to change their wipers in a timely fashion. You should change your wipers every six months, once in the late fall, and again in late spring. Also, install beam blade windshield wipers. Beam blades, unlike traditional wipers, have their support inside the wiper itself, with no metal framework on the outside. This construction lets the blade flex and makes better contact with the windshield. It also helps keep most of the moving parts protected and prevents snow and ice buildup on the wiper.
Start adding winter windshield washer fluid in early fall. Winter washer fluid has deicer additives that keep it from freezing, even on the coldest days. By starting early, and occasionally adding cold-weather fluid throughout the fall season, you will have winter fluid predominantly in the reservoir when the first cold snap hits. It will also allow time for the fluid to work its way through the hoses, which are more prone to freezing.
So keep warm, stay safe, and remember these tips on how to get your car ready for Calgary winters.