Odorizzi: Last chance to prime your car

Well, here we are with summer now a distant memory and the winter upon us.

Well, here we are with summer now a distant memory and the winter upon us.

Runny noses, shivering behind the wheel of your car while it warms up and visions of yourself dangling precariously 12 feet from the hard ground while hanging your Christmas lights—good times for sure, but I digress.

For us here at the shop, the arrival of winter means vehicles need to be prepared for the cooler temperatures, better known to many of us as winterize.

So here are some of the basics behind winterizing your vehicle, and why it needs to be done.

One of the most important things we check on your vehicle is the coolant strength and levels.

When coolant freezes it actually expands. So if your coolant freezes on a cold night, it can cause all kinds of expensive problems.

One of the worst among those is a cracked engine block which would leave you needing to replace the whole motor—probably not on your Christmas wishlist.

We also check to make sure your coolant is filled up to the top. This helps your vehicle warm up faster.

I’m sure most of us would agree that a heated vehicle feels good after schlepping the kids around to hockey and skating rinks, where we all try to stay warm by downing mass quantities of Timmy’s coffee.

Another aspect of winterizing is screening your battery to see what it’s charging at.

Vehicles have a harder time starting in the cold weather and a weak battery could make all the difference between getting to work on time or just calling it a day and going back to your nice, warm bed.

As I type this, I’m trying to convince myself that indeed, this is a bad thing…but seriously, a weak battery is something you’d want to replace because on the flip side of that scenario is wanting to get back home to your nice, warm bed, but instead being stranded at work.

We also encourage people to change their windshield wipers, which should be replaced once a year anyway.

This is also the same time that we check to make sure the washer fluid in the vehicle is meant for winter temperatures and not the summer bug wash, which again, will freeze.

And although it won’t lead to needing a new motor, it’s very inconvenient to have to pull over and rub snow on your windshield to clean it because your washer fluid is frozen solid. Trust me, I know this from firsthand experience.

Other general winterize vehicle checks include cleaning the cabin air filter. A clogged up filter can restrict air from flowing through your vehicle which in turn can affect whether your windshield can defrost.

Once again, experience has taught me that scraping the frost off the inside of your windshield with your credit card is not nearly as fun as it sounds.

Finally, change your oil, check tire pressures and all other fluid levels.

At our shop, once we know everything is up to par, we send you on your merry way to spread good tidings and cheer. Happy driving everyone.

Tanya Odorizzi is co-owner of Pro Stop Auto Center in Kelowna.




Kelowna Capital News

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