Greg shares tips for preparing vehicles for winter in this episode of Ask The Expert. 800 CHAB radio presents Ask the Expert with Greg Marcyniuk of Heritage Insurance located in Moose Jaw.

Heritage Insurance

Here's a full transcript of the episode.

Rob Carnie: Are you ready for winter?

More importantly, are your vehicles ready for winter? That's the topic today on Ask The Expert with 800-CHAB's insurance expert, Greg Marcyniuk at Heritage Insurance.

Now's the time to get the vehicle's ready. And most importantly, Greg — and I know we've stressed it a number of times over the years — be ready with an emergency winter survival kit in all your vehicles.

Greg Marcyniuk: We'll cover that first — going over what you should have in that kit. You should have jumper cables. Or another great thing is one of those portable lithium batteries with jumper cables, because not only do they jump your battery if you need it boosted, but they'll also charge your cellphone if required. So, it kind of is a dual-purpose. But remember to keep it charged.

Rob: Sure.

Greg: The other thing is flares, triangle reflectors. Or you can get LED flares, which work awesome. They're very visible. You should have a quart of motor oil as well, as a quart of coolant just in the event of something. A first aid kit — which would definitely is very high on the list — blankets, space blanket, flashlight and extra batteries, toolkit with a screwdriver, pliers, adjustable wrench, pocket knife and a can of tire inflator. And sealant is another great thing that you should have.

Make sure it doesn't freeze. Tire pressure gauge, paper towels, spray bottle with washer fluid, ice scraper, pen and paper, granola energy bars, hard candy — those type of things. Bottled water. And, as well, you should have a shovel in your vehicle. And what I do is I actually put in some boots, some good gloves or mitts too, and some winter gear — like a heavy jacket or a snowmobile suit, something along those lines.

The other thing that you really want to prepare for winter is your vehicle. And a lot of people tend to just leave this until the snow flies. Absolutely the wrong thing to do. First and foremost, you should be looking at putting snow tires on your vehicle. I know we've talked about this before. I've got them and I absolutely love them and will never be without them again. Also, you should check your tire pressure, because with cooler weather, the tire pressure decreases on your vehicle and you'll get less gas mileage too if you don't keep an eye on your tire pressure.

The other thing is, check your battery. I don't know how many times I see people that are getting boosts. If your battery, they say, is three years more or older, you should definitely get it tested. I know, myself, I'm usually about every three to four years, I just replace mine. Just makes good sense. Cold weather can reduce the functioning of your battery, especially Wika battery, by 50 percent.

The other thing you want to do — if you do have four-wheel drive, engage it and disengage it. Make sure it does engage. Drive with it for a while. Make sure there's no funny noises. If there is, again, take it to a mechanic. And you should change the oil and check the viscosity of the oil if you don't have a lighter oil. It makes it that much easier to get it started in the winter. And have your belts and hoses inspected and inspect your wipers.

And also check wiper fluid and make sure that you do have low, like minus 40 at least, for your wiper fluid. And again, make sure we go through and check that.

And you can check these out online, Or come on down to the corner of First and Fairford North and talk to any of our fine people, and we'd be happy to give you one of these checklists.

Rob: Greg Marcyniuk, Heritage Insurance on 800-CHAB's Ask The Expert.

(Video transcription by Speechpad)

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Heritage Insurance Ltd., Insurance Services Office, Moose Jaw, SK
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