How to Make Sure Your Car is Ready for the Ontario Winter

Although winter snow-covered streets can often appear as magnificent sceneries, the truth is that winter is the worst time of the year for driving. For those of us who live in a continental climate, winter means freezing temperatures, snow, and ice, as well as heavily salted roads. 

However, despite the difficult conditions drivers face every day during the winter months, there are some crucial things you can do to make your daily commute safer and more enjoyable. 

Here is everything you need to do to make sure that your car is ready for winter. 

Winter Storage: Everything You Need to Know

Garages, or some kind of storage space, is essential during the winter months. Of course, you can keep your car outside, but you would probably get tired of scraping the ice and cleaning the snow very soon. If you plan to keep your vehicle unused during the winter, long-term storage is the way to go - but, how do you store your car for the winter? 

First of all, your garage or storage space should be dry and spacious. Look for concrete floors and constant temperatures. Avoid old barns with gravel, or bare earth, since those surfaces will retain moisture and could lead to rust problems. The ideal winter car storage would be an underground parking lot, or climate-controlled facility. 

If you are storing a classic car, the most important thing to look for is a constant temperature, or few temperature changes. Sudden changes in air temperature often lead to condensation, not just on the car's surface, but more importantly, inside and in hard-to-reach places. Condensation also leads to moisture, which produces rust.

A good piece of advice is to wash the car thoroughly, top off the fluids (antifreeze, fuel, and oil), and check the tire pressure before putting it in winter storage. Washing will also get rid of any possible salt or mud particles that can damage your car. Of course, be sure not to engage the parking brake, since it can get stuck over time and leave the car in neutral (manual-equipped vehicles) or park (automatic).

How to Keep Your Car Warm and Safe in Cold of Winter

With temperatures well below zero, winter is a difficult time of the year, not just because there is snow and ice on the roads, but also because spending a lot of time in a freezing car is definitely not healthy. We have a few simple but powerful answers if you are wondering how to keep your car warm during the winter months. 

Let's start with the age-old question of whether you should warm your car before setting off, or if you should just turn the key, put it in gear, and drive. 

Modern vehicles with fuel injection are usually ready to go as soon as you start your engine. However, it is crucial to start slowly in order to avoid revving, so that the engine & transmission warm up gradually. 

However, warming your engine is only half of the story; you also need to pay attention to your vehicle's interior. One of the most effective ways to protect your interior and make it more cozy during the winter is to put seat covers on all seats, especially if your car comes with a leather or vinyl upholstery. Sitting on cold seats is unpleasant, so winter seat covers are a must if your vehicle does not come with heated seats.

At the same time, we strongly suggest you invest in winter floor mats. These heavy-duty floor mats are made of durable rubber and will protect the interior from the snow, mud, and water you bring in on your boots. 

With winter seat covers and car mats, no matter how harsh winter might be, your interior will be protected, and passengers will be warm and dry. At Westminster Motors, we offer large selection of high-quality floor mats for your Jaguar, Land Rover, or Bentley.

Winter Car Maintenance Essentials

During the winter months, your car might need some more attention to perform well and keep you safe. Apart from making sure that your antifreeze is up to the task, it is important to remember to check on your tires and confirm that your winter set is on. Having winter car tires mounted before the temperatures get below zero is the most crucial type of maintenance you need to do. After all, tires are the only contact between the car and the tarmac, and you need them to perform flawlessly, especially in slippery conditions during the winter.

If you own Jaguar, Land Rover, or Bentley and you have doubts figuring what exact dimensions or type of tires you need, we at Westminster Motors are always happy to help you and provide you with the right set of rubber. 

People are often concerned about washing their car in the winter due to low temperatures. The fact is, however, that even though it might be cold, your car needs cleaning even more than during the summer!

Since the roads are heavily salted, the entire bottom, undercarriage, and wheel wells of your car tend to get entirely covered by salt and mud. This can be dangerous, since salt eats through metal, and over the course of just one winter can cause your car rust problems. 

Be sure that you wash your car regularly, pay attention to underneath the vehicle and inner wheel wells, and try to get all the hard-to-reach places and suspension components. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that often, after particularly cold nights, cars can have trouble cranking in the morning. A standard car battery can lose up to 35% of its capacity when exposed to temperatures about 0 degrees, and if the temperatures fall down to –17 degrees Celsius, a whole 65% of the battery charge can be gone. 

Knowing just how temperatures can reach across Canada, problems with starting your car are common. There are a few key solutions to prevent this issue: the first is to regularly use your car and keep the battery fully charged, and second, to have a jump starter kit ready when you experience problems with cranking.  

While winter is a difficult time of the year when it comes to driving, with some easy preparation and the right set of winter tires, you can have a trouble-free journey, no matter the conditions. Westminster Motors is here to help you with all your needs and to provide you with advice, services, and products for your Jaguar, Land Rover, and Bentley.