How to Winterize Your Car in Ottawa. Climate changes affect every aspect of your life, including your car. If you live in a cold-weather state or plan to travel to a colder climate during winters, your car needs a complete overhaul to prepare. You prepare yourself for the colder temperatures buy ensuring you have warm clothing and a coat, so cannot expect your car to function properly without some attention to its winter needs too. Winter Means It’s Time To Change Your Oil Is it time for an oil change or a thirty thousand mile check up for your car? Don’t procrastinate! If you live in a colder climate, where the temperatures reach below freezing, you may want to switch over to a thinner, less viscous oil. The oil in your engine changes depending on how hot or cold the engine is running. Outside temperatures affect the internal temperature of your engine.When oil gets colder it tends to thicken, and if the consistency is too thick, it will not be optimal for keeping the engine lubricated. When in doubt, check owner’s manual to know which oil to use in different climates. Protect Your Engine and Check Your Engine Coolant Your car’s coolant system is not only responsible for keeping your engine from overheating. It is also an integral part of protecting your engine against corrosion. Make sure you have the correct proportion of antifreeze to water. For most vehicles, you should aim to have a winter ratio of 60% coolant to 40% water. inside your radiator. It is easy to check the levels with an inexpensive antifreeze detector, which can be found at your local auto parts store. This will protect the mixture from freezing even at the coldest temperatures. If your mixture is off, your cooling system needs to be drained and refilled. If you are doing this job yourself, make sure you are equipped to dispose of antifreeze properly. It cannot be poured down the drain. If you need help, consult a professional. Check To Swap Out Your Windshield Wipers Windshield wipers are usually effective for year or so. When you are preparing for colder temperatures is a great time to invest in some new ones, especially if you are due. Another part of your winterizing routine should involve making sure your windshield reservoir is filled. For best results, select a windshield washer fluid with an antifreeze solution. It May Be Time To Change Your Battery While wearing gloves, uncover the refill hole and check the amount of battery fluid. If the level falls below the bottom of the cap, refill with distilled water. Check over the battery cables for cracks and breaks. The terminals should fit snugly with no loose connections. Some car batteries are equipped with a hydrometer eye that measures the remaining voltage. Prior to reading hydrometer, be sure to turn your engine off. Stay On The Road With Snow Tires Driving in snow can be very difficult and sometimes dangerous, but you may still find yourself out on the road during a snow storm. Having the right tires, can give you a bigger advantage when traveling through snow and ice. Your best option would be to invest in all-season tires that you drive year-round. The advantage of all-season tires is that you don’t change the tires before winter or need to keep two sets of rims. Keep in mind that you will not get all the greta features of a specialized tire. Pack An Emergency Kit If you don’t already have an emergency kit in your car, consider putting together a few basics and stowing them in the trunk. Make sure your spare tire is in good shape with all the tools to change it out. Some other emergency items you may want to store in your car are: Flares Blankets Extra set of gloves and boot Radio Engine oil Windshield wiper fluid Coolant Flashlight Extra food and water Ice Scraper Jumper cables Tool kit Tire gauge Paper towels Salt, sand or kitty litter to provide extra traction Winterizing your car helps you to become more comfortable driving in cold, snowy climates. Preparing ahead you can help ensure your vehicle reliability and your own safety during the winter months.