Travel trouble free this summer with regular maintenance at an AARS facility.
Also, follow the manufacturers' recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle, which can be found in your owner's manual.
Here are 9 easy things you can do yourself to get your car ready for the warmer weather:
Clean your vehicle Prevent rust by giving your vehicle a thorough cleaning to remove salt and sand accumulated over winter. Clean under the hood, shampoo the engine, as well as wheel wells. Wax and polish your vehicle at least twice a year to preserve its paint.
Lights Make sure headlights, brake, reverse, parking, turn indicators and hazard lights are working properly. Check the small bulb above your license plate.
Block heater Tuck away the block heater cord.
Alberta’s hot summers limit a battery’s lifespan. Even a boost cannot be relied upon to keep you going. Fix the real problem. Members can use our CAA Battery Service to test the battery and purchase a new one if needed.
Brakes Road salt from the winter driving months can lead to brake damage. Your brakes should be checked every six months or 20,000 km. Find an Approved Auto Repair Service(AARS) facility near you.
Wipers Wiper blades are critical for safety, but have a short lifespan - six months. Check the blades and replace if they are worn or damaged.
Oil change Change your oil regularly and keep fluids like brake, coolant and windshield washer, topped up.
Cooling system Be sure to check for leaks in the radiator and for cracks, leaks and swelling in the rubber cooling system hoses. It's also wise to replace the antifreeze if it's more than two years old. VIDEO: Checking your vehicle's fluid levels.
Your vehicle needs extra care when the seasons change
Make sure your vehicle can handle snow, salt, sand and dips in temperatures that come with the changing of the seasons. Get your car ready for winter weather by visiting an Approved Auto Repair Service (AARS).
We encourage you to follow your manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule, found in your owner's manual, to keep your car working it's best. There are also some simple things you can do yourself to get your vehicle ready for winter.
8 easy tips to get ready for winter driving:
Consider switching to synthetic grade oil. While more costly than conventional oil, synthetic oils won't break down as quickly as conventional oils, and will allow your engine to turn over with greater ease in colder temperatures. Synthetic oils are also better at handling extreme temperature changes; as every Albertan knows, we can go from summer to winter in just a few hours. Synthetic oils also break down slower, so they protect your engine longer.
Your block heater helps keep your engine warm so it starts better in cold temperatures. Make sure yours is working properly before the cold temperatures set in. Also, check that the cord doesn't have any tears or cracks. Use a PLUG ALIVE tester to make sure your outlet, power cord and block heater are working. PLUG ALIVE testers are available at any AMA centre. Remember to plug in when temperatures dip below -15ºC.
Make sure your battery has the strength to survive the winter by getting it tested before the snow and colder temperatures arrive. Alberta's cold winters and hot summers take a toll on your battery and will greatly reduce its lifespan. Batteries in our climate tend to last between 3 and 5 years.
Will your car will be sitting idle this winter? Use a CAA Battery Tender to keep the battery charged.
Battery tenders are perfect for vehicles that:
Are not used regularly (vintage and collectible vehicles; cars rarely driven during the winter; recreational vehicles such as RVs and personal watercraft vehicles)
Make a lot of short trips
Have wheelchair lifts
Are rarely driven during the winter months (or are not driven at all)
$32 for members (GST included).
$40 for non-members (GST included).
When temperatures drop, so does your tire pressure. Check your tire pressure monthly; maintaining proper pressure helps prevent flats and optimizes fuel efficiency. Ensure your tire pressure is within factory specifications. The vehicles' owner's manual will have recommendations. The information can also be found on the door jam or glove box. More tire tips.
Make sure you've got the traction you need to drive and stop on snowy or icy roads. Tires where the tread pattern is wearing thin may have problems handling winter road conditions and will make driving dangerous. Place a dime in the tire's grooves with the sails facing down. If you can see the top of the sails, it's time to replace your tires. Get more tire maintenance tips.
Fuel Cut down on the amount of condensation that forms in your fuel tank by keeping your tank at least half full. Condensation adds water to your tank, and can freeze in colder temperatures.
Keep your windshield clean by switching to a winter-grade windshield washer fluid. Washer fluids designed for colder temperatures won't freeze in the fluid reservoir or on your windshield.
Did you know your vehicle's engine can overheat just as easily in the winter months as during the summer? Ask your technician to check the level and strength of your coolant.
Belts and hoses
Ask your service technician to check for cracks, bulges or leaks and replace as necessary. You don't want something to snap or break due to colder temperatures when you're on the road. If that happens, AMA Roadside Assistance may be the only way to get you moving again.