Ask a Mechanic….Getting a new car winter ready
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Every week, we take your questions about what is going on under the hood of your vehicle and pose them to a knowledgeable mechanic in the Greater Toronto Area. In today’s column we discuss your vehicle’s upkeep during the winter.
Dear Ask a Mechanic,
I am a first-time car owner. I bought one this summer so I could get out of the city during the pandemic. With winter coming, I’m wondering what kinds of things I can do to prevent salt damage to the interior of my vehicle. I love my car and have been keeping it very clean (it still has that new car smell). Should I invest in special floor mats or are there products I can use to protect the fabric ahead of time? – Spic and span
Kirk Paty, owner of Pickering’s R&G Automotive Centre, swears by WeatherTech mats. It’s a product Paty uses in his personal vehicles and suggests for customers as well. WeatherTech has mats and floor liners specific to the type of vehicle driven, allowing for full coverage. Other brands, including Husky Liners, offer similar products. Be careful not to stack floor mats or liners, especially in the driver’s footwell. They should be fixed in place, as loose mats can trap or block pedals, leading to a loss of control. Outside of that, he said there isn’t much that can be done, aside from scotch guard protection, which some detailing shops can offer. But the most effective way to keep up is to keep the car clean, Paty said. Doing so will get rid of any buildup that comes with the snow and salt. He recommends using a cleaning spray, of which many options are available on the market.
Ask a Mechanic is written by Nida Zafar, a reporter who grew up in a house full of mechanics in Scarborough, and occasionally poses your questions to her dad or brother. You can send your questions to . These answers are for informational purposes only. Please consult a certified mechanic before having any work done to your vehicle.