Although Abbotsford residents may not deal with the intensely frigid temperatures experienced in other parts of the country, the weather still gets cold. You still must drive on slippery roads. Moderate snowfall and freezing conditions can wreak havoc on your vehicle. If you want to stay safe and keep your MINI in great shape, you should do a few things to prepare it for the winter weather ahead.
Check the Battery
Cold weather can challenge your battery, so the best time to check it is before the temperatures turn to freezing. Ensuring that your car battery is in good shape can help you to avoid being late for work because your car won’t start. If you don’t know how to do this yourself, your local mechanic or dealer is not likely to charge much for this service.
Check the Tires
You can invest in an air pressure gauge and check the pressure in your tires regularly. This is especially important in winter because a sudden temperature drop can lead to lower tire pressure. If you don’t have a gauge, you can check your tire pressure at a local gas station that sells air.
Change the Tires
The rubber in your car’s tires starts to harden at only 7 degrees Celsius. This means that your tires may not be able to grip the road as well as they should when the temperature is cold and the road surface is slick. You can talk to your MINI dealer about getting wheels and tires that are designed for cold temperatures.
Check the Antifreeze/Coolant
You should do this as often as your service manual suggests that you do. Your coolant can freeze if it’s diluted and the temperature is below freezing. If you do not change your antifreeze solution as often as is recommended for your MINI, you could eventually have major problems (such as an overheated engine).
Change the Oil
You should change the oil in your MINI periodically. A general guideline is to change it every 5,000 to 7,000 kilometers, but you may wish to consult your dealer or service manual to be certain. If you do not change your oil regularly, your engine could seize and fail. When the weather is cold and wet, you will want your vehicle to remain in optimal condition.
Check the Windshield Fluid and Wipers
Be certain that you have plenty of windshield wiper fluid in the reservoir. As an extra precaution, you might also fill it with a de-icing fluid for the coldest months. If you haven’t used your wipers in a few months, you should check them now. You’ll want to be sure that you can rely on your wipers during a period of heavy rainfall or snowfall.
Have Your MINI Serviced for Winter
Taking your MINI in to be serviced before winter is always advisable. A professional can check the motor, the hoses and belts, the brakes, the fluids, the heating system, and the lights. Any detail that you’re unequipped to deal with may be handled by a professional. Getting your car serviced and winterized now may ultimately save you money, and it could even save your life.
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