Canadian winters are notoriously harsh and throw all kinds of weather our way, sometimes making driving a harrowing adventure, so it’s important to be prepared.
Here are some tips to ensure that you and your car to make it through the season unscathed.
Switch to a winter weight oil. Viscosity varies with temperature, so your car may benefit from a different weight of engine oil in the winter. A lighter weight engine oil will improve engine start-up and provide better lubrication during the colder months.
Check your tire pressure. Be sure to check the pressure of your tires (including your spare tire) at least once per month this winter – every 5°C change in temperature results in about a 7_kPa (1 psi) change in tire pressure. Properly inflated tires last longer, make your vehicle safer to drive and can improve your fuel efficiency by 3.3 per cent.
Keep your gas tank at least half full. Maintaining at least a half tank of gas will limit condensation in your gas tank and prevent your gas line from freezing during the colder months. Adding a little gas-line anti-freeze every second fill-up can also help to prevent freezing.
Check and/or replace your battery. Very cold temperatures will reduce your car’s battery power, so it’s important to keep the connections clean, tight and corrosion-free. If your battery is more than five years old, you should also consider replacing it with one that is rated as high as the one specified in your owner’s manual.
Use the right coolant. As strange as it sounds, your cooling system is one of the most important things to watch during the winter. In most parts of Canada, a 50/50 mix of coolant and water keeps the coolant from freezing, lubricates the water pump and protects the cooling system from corrosion. In very cold areas you may need to change the concentration, but your coolant concentration should never exceed 70 per cent.
Check your brakes. When you need to stop on slick and icy roads, every second counts. Check your brakes for wear and tear and buy yourself some time to stop by replacing worn brake pads.
Test your exhaust system for leaks. Leaks can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed. Be sure to check your exhaust system at least once per year to stay safe.
Check your lights. Over time, your lights may dim or burn out completely and the plastic in your light covers will degrade and cloud, leading to distorted and dimmed illumination. Be sure to replace both your bulbs and light covers to maintain high quality lighting. Waxing your headlight covers can also help prevent the build-up of ice and snow on your lights during the cold and dark winter months.
Avoid using cruise control. You should never use your cruise control on wet, snowy or icy roads. If you hydroplane or skid, your tires will rapidly spin as your car accelerates to maintain its speed, and you are more likely to lose control.
Pack an emergency kit. Never leave home without a safety kit in the winter. Make sure that you have a shovel, a snow/ice brush, jumper cables or a battery pack, extra windshield washer fluid, and warm clothes or a blanket in your trunk in case you get stranded.
Winter driving is no funny business, so be sure to slow down, be patient, and remember that there is no shame in being overly cautious. If you feel uncomfortable continuing to drive in poor weather conditions, pull over and wait it out or just stay home.
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Did you know its unsafe to run winter tires during the summer?
According to the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada, as of 2019, 69% (excluding Quebec where its mandatory) of Canadian drivers own winter tires. With the onset of the pandemic and lockdowns, the average Canadian is driving far less which has led to more and more drivers choosing to leave their winter tires on during the Spring & Summer months.
In this, we want to educate our customers on the potential safety concerns and why you should be visiting Active Green + Ross for either NEW all-season/summer tires, or at the very least changing over to an existing set.
3 MAIN RISKS WHEN USING WINTER TIRES IN THE SUMMER:
As of March 25th, 2021, Canada’s outdated data and privacy regulations restrict ability to do this, impeding ability to choose where to shop and hurting smaller auto businesses in the process. In this, the AIA (Automotive Industry Association of Canada) is asking the Honorable Francoise Philippe Champagne to review the current guidelines around access to vehicle data, and ensure the principles of data access, and control and a level playing field as outlined in our government’s Digital Charter Implementation Act.
In support of this, we are asking all Active Green & Ross consumers and affiliates to sign a petition to further aid in this movement.
On Friday, November 20th, the Government of Ontario announced that Toronto and Peel regions will be moving into a lockdown on Monday November 23, 2020. These measures will be in place until December 21, 2020.
The rules are quite similar to what was put into place early on in the COVID-19 pandemic in March and April. The government has established an essential and non-essential services list and any business deemed non-essential are only able to operate online and offer curbside service or deliveries. Retail stores deemed essential are permitted to open for in-person shopping, but will have 50% capacity limits.
These measures will be in place until at least December 21, 2020.
How does this apply to the automotive service centres?
The Ontario government has deemed vehicle repair and manufacturing as essential services in these regions. These members will be allowed to open, but will still need to abide by public health guidelines.
At Active Green + Ross, your regular scheduled maintenance should include will include complete multipoint inspection along with an oil, filter, and fluid ,brake inspection, tire rotation or balance, alignment check and battery & brake inspection and other filter and fluid replacements.
Are you possibly driving on worn shocks and struts?
Like most safety-critical chassis components, shocks and struts do wear out over the course of normal operation.
Both shock absorbers andstruts keep your vehicle from bouncing around. Though the two terms are often used interchangeably — and they basically do the same thing — shocks and struts are different parts. A vehicle either has a shock or strut at each wheel — not both — and a shock cannot replace a strut, nor a strut replace a shock. Some vehicles have struts on the front axle and shocks in the back.
Although there are many other factors that can cause tire wear, such as climate, road surface quality, and your driving style, improper tire alignment is the main cause to irregular treadwear and can cause your tires to wear unevenly and prematurely and can even cause driver assist systems to malfunction. Common irregular tire tread wear conditions from improper alignment include the following: Heel/Toe wear, Feathering, and Camber wear.
If you are experiencing irregular tire wear, handling issues, or an off centered steering wheel, an alignment inspection or correction should be performed. Even without experiencing any indicators of an Alignment related issue, most vehicle manufacturers recommend checking your alignment at least annually or at every seasonal tire changeover and corrected with the purchase of new tires.
Take a deep breath. Can you smell it? Spring is almost here! You may remember that season: Plants are blooming, grass is growing, winter coats are being put away and the most important part; windows are down while we’re driving. I can almost feel it now! Making the transition from winter driving to spring driving can be tricky if you live in a colder winter climate. Let’s take a look at a few things to make this seasonal transition easier. Continue reading Four Safety Tips for Seasonal Transitions→