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Caring For Your Car in Extreme Weather

Here in Alberta, we are no strangers to extreme weather conditions

Whether you are facing scorching summer days or frigid winter temperatures, it’s important to take care of your vehicle during extreme weather.

To help keep your vehicle in good working shape no matter the weather, here are some tips for caring for your car cold winter days and hot summer temperatures:

Cold Weather Care For Your Vehicle

Mother with little daughter in a winter park by car

Don’t let the frigid temperatures of winter do a number on your car! Here are some tips to follow to care for your car during cold weather:

Keep Your Battery in Good Shape

When the temperatures drop, your battery has a harder time getting started. At about -17°C your battery has only around half the cranking power it would have during a warmer day.

To check your battery’s condition, remove the plastic caps and check the fluid level. If the fluid levels are low, you can add distilled water.

If your car battery is more than five years old and is not working properly, consider replacing it.

Sometimes, however, a tired battery just needs to be recharged. You can have someone boost your battery, use a charging pack, or have it inspected and tested by a licensed technician.

Replace the Wiper Blades

Most wiper blades will lose their effectiveness within six months and winter temperatures are particularly harsh on them.  

This can result in streaks or missed pieces of glass – the last thing you want to deal with while driving through a snowy blizzard!

While you can help maintain the condition of your wiper blades by cleaning the rubber edge with glass cleaner and paper towel, this is not a good idea in the wintertime. The extra moisture can lead to freezing and cracking.

Instead, make it a habit of replacing your wiper blades as soon as the cold weather hits.

Check Your Fluids

Winter weather can do a number on your engine and motor oil can thicken when it is cold. This will make it more difficult for your engine to turn over.

Heading into winter is a great time to get an oil change. Make sure to replace the oil filter and use an oil that is formulated for winter.

You should also take a look at your coolant levels and make sure it is mixed at a 50/50 ratio of antifreeze and water. This will help keep the coolant from freezing when the temperature drop.

Install Good Tires

You may think your all-season tires are good enough for snowy roads but installing good winter tires will help prevent you from spinning out into a ditch.

Winter-grade tires definitely provide excellent traction on winter roads, they are also manufactured to better withstand colder temperatures.

Since rubber naturally hardens when it is cold, winter tires are made of a rubber compound that keeps them supple and helps them maintain their grip.

Even if you have good tires on your vehicle, make sure that they are properly inflated – temperature drops can reduce the amount of air in your tires leading to poor fuel economy and safety risks.

Have Your Brakes Inspected

Winter tires will do you no good if your brakes aren’t working properly! 

Brake pads and rotors wear down over time and, when they get to the end of their service life, your car won’t stop as easily as it should.

Before the cold temperatures hit, have your brakes inspected and replaced if necessary.

Hot Weather Care For Your Vehicle

couple running on sandy beach by parked car

Winter is not the only time of year you should be concerned about your vehicle’s condition. Here are some tips for taking care of your car during the hot summer months:

Test Your Air Conditioning

The last thing you want on a hot summer day is to turn on your air conditioning and find it not working!

Before the hot weather hits, turn on your air conditioning to see if the compressor is working and blowing cold air. If it isn’t, you may need to simply top up the refrigerant.

You should also have your cabin air filter checked. A clogged filter can affect the performance of your air conditioning system as well as negatively affect the air quality in your car.

Keep An Eye On Your Coolant

Your engine can overheat if your coolant levels are low – especially during hot days. Check your coolant levels by taking a look at the reservoir and ensuring it is filled to the proper level.

If you have to open the radiator cap, always wait until your engine has cooled! Otherwise, hot steam and coolant can spray and burn you.

Low coolant levels should never be replaced with just water. Use a 50/50 mixture of coolant and water.

Watch Your Tire Pressure

When exposed to heat, your tires will expand. During periods of higher temperatures, be sure to regularly check your tire pressure.

Otherwise, you could experience a tire blowout which is extremely dangerous while driving.

Stick to the Highway

Because highways are generally better maintained than regular streets, they can handle extreme heat. 

Taking the highway instead of side streets could help your vehicle avoid overheating and blowing a tire.

Keep Up With Maintenance

In the summertime, drivers tend to make more long-distance road trips. Regular maintenance, such as oil changes and filter inspections, will ensure that your car is up to the task.

Regular maintenance is important when it comes to the durability of your engine but doing so will also increase your vehicle’s fuel economy during these adventures.

Beat the Heat or Cold With Regular Maintenance

Overall, proper maintenance is key to caring for your car in extreme weather!

Before the temperatures dip or soar, have your vehicle inspected by our professional team of technicians are able to repair and inspect any type of vehicle for drivers Sherwood Park and surrounding areas.

Book your appointment today!

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