Maintenance Checklist: Prepare Your Car for Winter

By AMA Staff

With the arrival of cold weather, it becomes essential to properly prepare your car for winter roads. Follow these tips to help ensure your vehicle is in tip-top shape to handle the season’s harsher driving conditions.

Switch to synthetic. When temperatures drop, it won’t thicken up like conventional oil, allowing it to flow better to reduce engine wear during winter months.

Replace worn-out blades. Top up with winter-grade washer fluid—it won’t freeze in the reservoir and damage hoses when below-zero temps hit.

Visually inspect them for cracks, bulges and leaks, which can form in temperature fluctuations. If you spot a problem, get your technician to take a look.

When temps dip below –15 C, battery power weakens, so keep it plugged in during cold spells. CAA Battery Service will test your battery for free so you’re all charged up.

Heading south for winter? If you’re leaving your vehicle parked for an extended period, a tender will keep it charged at the proper storage voltage. Get one at an AMA centre or from your CAA Battery Service professional.

Learn how winter weather can affect your car’s high-tech features

Rubber designed specifically for snowy and icy conditions will perform better than all-seasons. With their deep tread design, winter tires provide up to 50 percent better traction on cold, wet, icy or frosty roads.

Check it with a block-heater tester before icy conditions and frigid temperatures set in. Make sure you don’t have any cracks or tears in the cord, heater or outlet.

Get a seasonal check-up with an automotive professional. AMA’s AARS partner shops offer complete inspections by expertly trained auto techs. And all work is backed by a 12-month or 20,000-km warranty.

Need a winter tune-up? Save some dough when it snows with AMA Rewards partners:

• Because every AARS shop is also an AMA Rewards partner, you’ll get a discount or earn AMA reward dollars on service, labour, parts or accessories

• Switch to synthetic oil: Save 10% on services at Mr. Lube

• Make sure belts, hoses and wipers are in tip-top shape: Save 10% on regular-price NAPA parts and accessories

• Make the switch to winter tires and save 5% on all products and services at Kal Tire

• Keep vehicle lubricants working smoothly at Lube City: Earn 15% back in reward dollars on most products and services, plus you can also earn an additional 5% in reward dollars back if you get a re-loadable Lube City gift card purchased from AMA.