Its not this bad... YET, but current wisdom advises us to change our summer tires over to winter tires when the average temperature reaches seven degrees Celcius (approx. 45 degrees fahrenheit). It is normally in this temperature range that you will start seeing frosts and black ice in the mornings, and when you will start to appreciate the benefits of winter tires.
If you live in an urban area and are not convinced of the benefit of purchasing dedicated winter tires, there has been a new type of "all weather" tire to hit the market the last few years. These tires are a hybrid of summer and winter tires and has achieved RAC winter ratings (in Canada a circular stamp on the sidewall of Mountains and snowflakes). These tire outperform all-season tires in winter and can be driven all year round, though they fall short of most dedicated winter tires. Check your tire pressure when cold and inflate/deflate as necessary.
While you are preparing your car for winter, check and top off your fluids: Brake fluid, antifreeze, washer fluid (completely replace any summer or bug wash), power steering fluid, etc.
This is also a good time to check and/or replace your windshield wiper blades.
Check all your lights. Make sure brake lights, head lights, turn signals, fog lamps, and any other lights have good working bulbs and fuses. I live in the country and travel on dark roads often. All our cars are equipped with brighter headlights. For us, the extra visibility is priceless.
Is it time for an oil change? If you are not using lighter grade oil all year (or preferably synthetic oil), consider using a lighter grade in winter (consult your vehicle manual for specific oil formulation recommended.
Check/update your emergency kit. Don't have one? Consider keeping one in your car. Everyone should have a small bag in the car with a flashlight with good batteries, pocket hand warmers (or a candle and matches), and a blanket. You should also ensure you have: spare tire, jack, flares, tire iron, etc.
For past blogs on preparing for winter click here.
Chris Smith CSSBB
Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage