The importance of seasonal maintenance
The leaves have fallen, days are shorter, and there's a chill in the morning air with traces of snow. Yes, the seasons are changing with winter upon us yet again. Something us Edmintoniains are no strangers to. Anyone who has experienced our winters knows that Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, can dish out some harsh extreme weather. With temperatures in the winter dipping down to around -40 and in the summer to above +30. Not many places on earth see an 80-degree temperature change with the changing of seasons. It is our unique harsh climate that requires us to service and maintain our vehicles to a different standard if we want to keep them running smoothly and flawlessly throughout the winter months.
Let's face it in the snow and ice we don't want vehicle issues that can leave us in the cold. For you and your family's safety, Continental Auto recommends bringing your vehicle in seasonally, or every 6 months, for service, maintenance work, and inspections.
Below are the top six key things to seasonal service.
1. Fluid life and levels.
Vehicles have multiple fluids to check and, it's important to check them going into winter and summer.
Engine coolant or antifreeze does exactly that! It will keep your engine from overheating or freezing up. There are three typical checks we do with coolant. Visual, is it the right type? Temperature check, Is it set to -50 or colder? PH test, measuring the acidity to see if it's still good.
Engine oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle. Incorrect oil may cause long term damage. We check service life, color, and viscosity. When an engine sees extreme temperatures, it's important to have the proper spec of oil for your car and that it is fresh oil to flow as freely as possible. (we know the spec thing is a bit confusing - stay tuned for a blog on oil later)
Brake fluid is actually a very key part of your braking system that is overlooked. Without it, brakes will not work. So what do we test? We test for condensation build-up. Excess water build-up can cause the fluid to boil in the summer and freeze in the winter. Both hinder braking ability or cause something we call brake fade.
Power steering (if applicable), we check levels, colors, and contamination.
Washer fluid, not much to do with this fluid. We check the temperature rating.
Transmission fluid, check maintenance interval.
It is important to have the appropriate tires. The compounds of winter and summer tires are vastly different. When should you change your tires? When the temperatures start to dip down below or above 7 °C (44.6 °F), it's time to change them. Leaving summer tires on too long can actually damage the summer tire. The summer tire compound will actually get hard and crack. This is called cold weather cracking. At Continental Auto, we recommend having a set of winter and summer tires.
3. Regular wear and tear maintenance and service.
This would be things like your vehicle's filters and belts.
4. Starting and charging system
This would include a battery test and alternator test.
This would be a health check of the engine and transmission
6. Chassis, Suspension, Brakes
This is another important one as the chassis, suspension, and brake are usually what takes the most beating in winter from rough road conditions.
That may seem like a lot but, you don't need to stress or worry about a thing! Just make sure you come and see us and become part of the Continental family! You can be confident in knowing we will take care of your vehicles and keep seasonal servicing and maintenance, along with anything else, stress, and worry-free experience.