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October 21, 2016

Are You Getting Ready for Winter?

Woman_with_snowy_car-winter_driving-iStock_000018495162-omgimagesHave you thought about buying a new winter jacket, new winter gloves, or even new boots? If you have, then you are thinking about getting yourself ready for winter, but have you thought about getting your car ready for winter? Hmmm… probably not.

Why not, I wonder? Our cars are very important to us and we need to take care of them so they don’t let us down in the cold winter months.

Below are a number of items that you should be having checked when you take your vehicle in for service in the next month.

  • Battery: Your battery is something you definitely want to have checked in the fall. Your battery could be weak all summer and not impact your world. If it is weak in the winter then that’s a different story. If your battery is deemed to be weak then you should consider having it changed before the cold weather hits us. Otherwise, it could let you down when you need it the most.
  • Woman_with_safety_triangle-winter_driving-iStock_000015281139-jean-marie guyonCoolant: When was the last time this was checked or flushed? Engine coolant should go down to at least -40 degrees Celsius. Ask what kind of condition it is in as well, as you may be ready for a coolant flush. Although long-life coolant is suggested to last to 160,000km, in many cases it doesn’t and becomes acidic. A coolant flush is where they take out all of the old stuff and put new coolant in.
  • Wipers: Wipers should be changed twice a year and now is the time to consider putting new wipers on. The heat of the summer dries out your blades and gives you streaking across your windshield. If you can’t see where you are going, then we all have a problem.
  • Emergency Roadside Kit: If you don’t already have one in your vehicle be sure to put one together. Everyone should have booster cables in their car among other important items. How about a blanket just in case you get stranded? Check out my Emergency Roadside kit. Even during the nice months you should have an emergency roadside kit in your vehicle. Last time I checked, you car isn’t going to put up its hand and say “I think I am going to break down today.”
  • Winter tires: It may not yet be cold enough to put on your winter tires but you should be thinking about getting them out of storage or buying new winter tires if you need them. Remember, that’s it: four winter tires or nothing.



Race car driver, educator, safety advocate, TV personality, Kelly Williams started racing cars at 17 years old and continued to race for 15 years. Now she works in the automotive industry, teaching women about taking care of their vehicles.

She also teaches performance driver training with BMW as well as other manufacturers, keeps busy as a spokesperson for Be Car Care Aware, hosts ladies' Car Care clinics across Canada, and has recently launched a new consumer website

#KellyWilliams #AskPatty #Canada

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