Published on 09.15.19
11 Inexpensive Fall Car Maintenance & Insurance Tips for Ontario Drivers
Look; we get it. We can’t bare to trade in swim trunks for sweater weather either – let alone put on winter tires already. But in Ontario and the rest of Canada, winter comes on fast and hard; before we know it, we’ll be knee-deep in snow again! That’s why it’s so crucial to get an early start on car winter maintenance and car insurance in Ontario. We found a to-do list for you to get started and stay organized:
Your car isn’t the only thing that needs to be winterized! Check out our tips on preparing your cottage and boat with winter insurance and how to avoid home insurance claims in the winter.
Fall Car Maintenance & Insurance Tips in Ontario:
10 Fall Car Maintenance Tips
1. Replace Your Wiper Blades.
We all want our blades to last longer than they do. But, inevitably, they wear down, crack, and are rendered useless. Heavy rain and snow are on the way, so check your blades to make sure they’re flexible and still able to clean your windshield. If they’re not, or if they don’t, replace your blades with new ones. Luckily, blades are pretty inexpensive, and you can get a decent set for $30 or $40.
2. Test Your Heater/Defroster.
Now is the perfect time to do this. Temperatures have started dropping in Edmonton, and there have even been a few frost-filled mornings. When this happens, check to see how well your car is defrosting itself. Check to see how much heat you’re getting. If it’s taking too long, consider getting your heater and defroster systems repaired. You’ll thank yourself in January.
3. Change Your Oil.
If you’re at your recommended oil change time (check your owner’s manual), change your oil. If your oil is looking dirty, change your oil (see below for an example). Without the proper amount of engine oil, your engine will start to break down and cause you untold problems in the future. And those repairs are expensive as hell.
4. Check Your Brakes and Tires.
This one is a no-brainer, right? Right? Your tires and brakes are two of the most important parts of your vehicle, but we’re all guilty of taking them for granted. Please, please don’t. Check your stopping power. Check to see how your car stops in rainy weather. Do your tires have noticeable wear? How’s your tire pressure? Luckily, most dealerships will inspect your brakes and tires free of charge.
5. Check Your Lights.
This one’s easy. Just walk around your vehicle with your lights turned on. Check the headlights, taillights, parking lights, brake lights, and emergency flashers. If there are any broken bulbs, simply replace them at your dealership. If they are all in working order, make sure your lights are clean. Have you complained about poor visibility in the past? Check to see if you have sealed-beam headlamps. If so, you might want to consider switching those out for halogen lamps. Your visibility will be instantly improved, and you’ll feel a lot safer during those Fall/Winter storms.
6. Check Your Air Filter.
If you know how to check your own air filter, here’s an easy way to test whether or not you need to replace it. Simply place it in front of a 60-watt bulb. If you can’t see through the filter, it’s time to replace it. If you’re not sure how to remove your air filter, just book an appointment and have a trained and certified tech do it for you. It’s an inexpensive service.
7. Have Your Battery Checked.
It’s about to get cold. So much colder than you even remember. So cold that you’ll hate your life, your city, and the fact that you chose a job that makes you ever leave your house. Make sure your car will be able to start throughout the oncoming winter. If not, you’re about to suffer more than you’re comfortable with. Get a tech to check your battery for you, and if necessary, replace it. This is about more than just a dying battery. Many batteries are corroded, many have loose cable connections. You won’t know these things until it’s too late. Get them checked now, while you still can.
8. Check Your Fluids.
Check your washer fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid. Have them topped up if they’re not at or above minimum safety requirements.
9. Refill Your Cooling System.
Check your coolant level in the overflow tank when your engine is COLD. Please keep that in mind. If the level is low, add a 50/50 combination of water and coolant. If your car is a bit older, it might even be necessary to refill the cooling system.
10. Check Under Your Hood.
Check for any obvious signs of wear, or anything that looks like it might need replacing. This means checking for cracks, leaks, or anything that’s loose. Squeeze your hoses: if they are spongy or brittle, they need to be replaced. Check your belts for signs of fraying. Are there strange noises while you’re driving? Any sputtering? If this is all a bit intimidating, take it to a licensed mechanic to make sure you’re A-OK this fall and winter.
11. Put on Winter Tires
Book your winter tire appointment; it’s better to get them on sooner than later when there’s snow and ice on the road. They work better than regular tires once the temperature drops below seven degrees Celsius so it’s wise to get them on by October/November depending where you live in Ontario.
Have you ever noticed that your car insurance in Ontario asks if you have winter tires? That’s because you can receive a winter discount on your insurance just for having them on from November to April! Not only do they make you safer on the road, but they help you save some money too.
Just like the leaves and temperature, Fall often represents a time of transformation and change. With car insurance rates in Ontario increasing, it’s not shocking to hear about someone changing their car insurance for a better price. It’s one of the most common reasons Canadians switch auto insurance companies. Foxquilt is paired with Canada’s leading insurance providers so we can show you multiple quotes, give you better buying power and find the best price for your coverage.