Advice from the expert: 5 things you need to know to get your car ready for winter | Goldwing Autocare

Advice from the expert: 5 things you need to know to get your car ready for winter

Goldwing Autocare Helps Ottawa Drivers Get Ready For Winter

As winter creeps ever closer, experienced car owners know it’s important to get their vehicles ready for the snowy season. Peter Gard, the owner of Goldwing Autocare, an Ottawa wheel and tire specialty store, offers these expert tips on preparing your car for the months ahead:

Install winter tires
It might seem like a no-brainer to install winter tires for when roads are at their slickest, but Gard says lots of drivers hold out until they see snow and ice for the first time, but by then it’s too late. He says that tires need to be switched over when the temperature hits +7 Celsius. His rule of thumb is to do it within a week or two of Halloween. With more than 1,500 sizes of tires and hundreds of models on the market, Gard suggest car owners consult with Goldwing or other tire professionals to be “the tour guide through the jungle of tires that are out there.”

Purchase winter wheels
Not only should you be changing your tires in the winter, but you also need a dedicated set of wheels for the winter, says Gard, smaller than the ones you use in the summer. The smaller wheel allows for narrower tires that give better performance in snow. “A narrower tire acts like a pizza cutter and gets through the snow down to the payment versus a wider tire that is going to act like a snowshoe that’s going to want to stay on top of the snow,” he says. As an added bonus, downsizing your wheels will give you a smoother ride and during pothole season will help protect the wheels from damage.

Check your tire pressure
Make sure your tires are properly inflated before winter comes and be sure to fill them with nitrogen. Because it’s a more stable gas, says Gard, nitrogen reduces the loss of pressure during the cold months. He suggests drivers purchase an inexpensive digital tire gauge, check their pressure regularly throughout the winter and have their tires topped up as needed.

Protect the paint job
For any age vehicle, but especially a newer one, make sure you’re going into winter with a proper coating to protect its painted surfaces. “In wintertime, you’ve got salt, snow, ice, freezing rain, snowbrushes and everything under the sun that can be really harmful for your car’s paint job so it’s a real good idea to do a ceramic paint coating,” says Gard, adding that Goldwing does the job in a thorough, two-day process that is partially applied by machine and partially by hand. They also offer electronic module rust protection to protect cars from the inside out.

Prepare for emergencies
Be like the Boy Scouts and be prepared, says Gard. Make sure you put a snowbrush and shovel in your car before you need them and include an emergency pack with candles, blankets and flares. You should also have a set of jumper cables handy and familiarize yourself with how to use them. To avoid having to need them, Gard says you should have your car’s older battery tested before it is officially dead. “Anything over five years, and you’re on borrowed time. Even at the four-year mark, you should get it tested.”
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