You should always continue regular maintenance of all mechanical and electrical systems of your MiniTruck. But now is the time to check if you have any existing problems. If you do have any issues, it’s only going to get worse with cold weather.
Following is a list of items to check as you are winterizing your MiniTruck.
Protect against rust
If you haven’t already, get your MiniTruck undercoated and rust-proofed or do it yourself. They don’t use salt in Japan so driving in Canada without undercoating and rust-proofing will produce rust quickly.
I’ve used Krown products in the past and seem to be doing their job well. You can do it yourself, or Krown can do it for around $120.
Replace the windshield wiper blades if there is damage. You won’t be able to replace just the rubber part of the blade because the size is slightly different than standard North American blades. You’ll need to buy the whole blade, but luckily you can pick new ones up for around $8 ~ $12 from Canadian Tire.
If you bought your MiniTruck in the last year, it may still have summer washer fluid (or in many cases just plain water). Stock up on winter-grade windshield washer fluid and top the washer tank off regularly.
Make sure you keep a snow brush and an ice scraper in the cab.
Clean the battery terminal ends and add distilled water if needed. Make sure it can hold a proper charge.
If your MiniTruck has a battery that’s older than five years, you’ll probably want to replace it.
Read more about keeping your battery charged during winter here.
If your MiniTruck has air conditioning, run it at least once a month. The freon lubricates the compressor.
Tip: Running the A/C will speed up window defogging.
Check the air pressure of your tires. Don’t forget the spare.
Make sure you have enough tread depth. If it’s less than 3/16″, it’s time for new tires.
Changing your all-seasons for proper snow tires would be best.
Winter comfort and safety
Check that all lights, heater and defroster are functioning properly. (On some MiniTrucks, the dash vents only blow cold air. Heat only comes from the defroster and floor vents.)
Keep the gas tank as full as possible to prevent moisture from freezing in the gas lines. Keep a bottle of gas line anti-freeze.
Check your brakes if you haven’t done so in the last six months.
If you have other tips that MiniTruck owners would find useful, please share below. Thanks.