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.

OIL
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.

WIPERS & FLUID
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.

BELTS & HOSES
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.

BATTERY
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.

BATTERY TENDER
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.

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WINTER TIRES
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.

BLOCK HEATER
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.

PRO CHECK-UP
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.

HOW TO SAVE
Need a winter tune-up? Save some dough when it snows with AMARewards partners:

• For check-ups and repairs, get 5% back in reward dollars at select AARS partners (up to $50 in reward dollars)

• 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 tires, plus 10% on parts and services at Kal Tire

• Keep vehicle lubricants working smoothly at Lube City: Earn up to $100 in reward dollars on oil changes and services