I love that we are enjoying spring weather on the Saskatchewan prairies right now but with the disappearance of snow, the effect of winter on the roads has been revealed. Canadians bond over the relation of spring to mean POTHOLES. Potholes are a hazard to drivers but the wear and tear on your vehicle during the winter can be equally as hazardous; this is why it’s important to head to a nearby Kal Tire location for a spring vehicle tune-up.
As a rural resident, the additional damaging effects from the grid roads in winter and spring conditions take a toll on our vehicles. I drive the farm to city roads on a daily basis and when I’m carrying precious cargo, my children, I want to ensure my vehicle is road-safe every season.
Additionally, as beekeepers heading into our busy honey season, my husband and father-in-law travel the roads to check on or transport our beehives between farm locations or for honey extraction. City and rural roads are hard enough on our vehicles but when you are travelling as much as my husband does, with the added weight of a trailer, maintaining our vehicles is the only sense of security we can rely on.
What Toll Does Winter Take on Your Vehicle?
- Alignment/suspension—I can feel this in my own vehicle when the wheel starts to pull; not only is it harder to steer, it causes a shake in the vehicle which loosens bolts and other components causing unsafe handling conditions. Products used to keep our tires from slipping on icy roads, like salt and sand, wreak havoc on seals and lubrication needed to keep suspension working properly and potentially causing loss of vehicle control.
- Rims—It seems like no matter the road you turn down, the roads look like a minefield with the driver having to maneuver safely around potholes while obeying driving laws and all without damaging tire rims or tearing a hole in a tire. If you’ve ever dropped a tire into that one deceiving pothole that seems to have an unlimited amount of water, you understand the damage that can be done by a bent rim.
- Tires—When you head to Kal Tire to get your winter tires swapped out to your spring/summer tires, you hope and pray you’ve seen the last sign of snow. Sometimes that snowy beast rears its head for a day or two like a surprise party that nobody wants but there it is; at least you are ready once it melts. Spring tire changeover is the perfect time to have your tires inspected for tread wear, inflation and any signs of strain on the tire, like cracking or sidewall bruises caused by potholes and suspension issues.
- Brakes—Over the winter, my brakes sure take a beating by all those slide-to-stop hard braking situations Canadians endure. For this reason, it’s extremely important to have your brakes, brake pads and rotors inspected by a Kal Tire mechanic to make sure they are in top shape when you need them most, an emergency braking situation.
- Filters/fluids—The various weather changes resulting in snow, slush, rain and mud cause your filter to work hard and engine to work harder. Keeping your filter and engine fluids clean and topped up is important in keeping your engine running at top performance and to improve the effectiveness of your heating and cooling system.
- Wipers—With ice, snow and slush conditions my vehicle gets pretty dirty and my windshield wiper blades work nonstop to keep my view of the road clear. There’s nothing worse than turning on my wipers to a streak in the middle of my line of sight caused by a breakdown in the wiper. “More than 90 per cent of your driving decisions are based on what you see, so visibility is critical. If it bought you even a second of reaction time, that could make a big difference in an emergency,” says Bill Gardiner.
Preventative maintenance is key to your family’s safety on the road during all seasons; make sure you book your vehicle in for its seasonal tune-up this spring before you head out on the road to make memories.
Do YOU Have a Vehicle Maintenance Question?
Join us over on the Kal Tire Facebook page where Canada’s own mechanic and “Dr. of Cars”, Bill Gardiner, will be answering your questions on April 14th.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own and that of This Lil Piglet.