It's that time of year again. The leaves have fallen, the winter jackets are out, the holidays are coming up, and everyone's putting their sports cars away for the winter in Canada. Except me. It's not too bad right now as there is no snow on the ground where I live. Instead, it has been raining a lot lately. But, the Vantage is a British car so it should be fine with the rain. Anyway, I figured I would share with you guys what I've done to winterize the car, so let's get started!
1. NEW, BIGGER FEET
The most obvious first step is getting winter tires. I mean, I don't really have a choice as my insurance company mandates it, but it's completely necessary either way. As this will be my first time driving a car with around 420 horsepower in the winter, I think this is a good way to go. Before a whole bunch of people get all adamant on correcting me, the Vantage has gone through an ECU flash, so the original 380 horsepower has been brought up to around 420. There are future plans to bring it up even more, but I won't announce anything just yet 😉. The tires put on are KUMHO Wintercrafts. I must say, with the winter tires, I definitely feel a bit higher up and have noticed how much "spongier" it feels when I go over bumps.
The next step was getting a bit of proactive maintenance done before winter fully sets in. The paint on the mirrors had started to flake off and so I really wanted to have them repaired before the roads get covered in salt. I ended up dropping off the Vantage at @autotintexpressltd for a few days where they not only repaired the paint on the mirrors, but they also added a Ceramic Pro coating. Beyond just that, they also do a variety of visual upgrades like wraps and tinting, which I might consider in the future, but that's the content for another post.
There are many steps involved in a Ceramic Pro coating and so I thought I would quickly go over the process because I find it rather interesting. So, they first washed the car. Then they went over it again with a paint decontamination wash which removes impurities from the clear coat of the car. Clay barring was also another step used to remove other contaminants. Next, they polished the car to correct scratches and other visual defects. After this, they washed the car by hand AGAIN. Finally, they applied the coating by hand all over the exterior of the car. The Vantage got the silver package which you can read more about in this link, but to keep it simple it's the one with a five year warranty. Overall, I think they did a great job and I'm really happy with the high quality of their work and how good the car looks!
Long story short, the car had a spa day. What's cool is that the majority of the car is made out of aluminum, which is great because that means the car doesn't rust, but now I know that the car will be extra protected against crappy Toronto weather. You can also check out the following gallery to see the results:
3. WHAT ABOUT ME?
Okay, so the car gets some pampering, but what do I get? Obviously, the third and final step is for me to turn on the seat heater and blast off into the sunset. If only...
The third step is for me to adjust my driving to the changing road conditions. Even with winter tires, grip is reduced during the season due to dropping temperatures and icy roads. With a rear wheel drive car, especially one with a decent amount of power, it's important to make a few changes to ensure that the car doesn't end up in a ditch. The changes I am referring to involve: Less aggressive steering, being smooth with all the movements and clutch releases, and being aware of the momentum of the car and the direction it's travelling in, etc. I think the two most important habits to keep in mind are to be more gentle with the power, along with being wary of black ice.
Regardless, I think this will be an interesting change, but I don't think the Vantage will be experiencing any Canadian snow storms as I will mainly drive it around on the drier days. Conversely, I'm super excited to take it to an empty parking lot when it starts snowing and slide around! ❄
Anyway, that's pretty much it! The Aston has been surprisingly low maintenance so far. Did you do anything to winterize your car? Let me know in the comments!