10 tips on how to prepare for the worst of winter

Published on Apr 23, 2012

Winter can be hard on both you and your car so why not do everything you can to be prepared for that first snowfall and the rest of winter. Here are some winterize your car tips that can help you drive easier and safer this winter season.

1. Get that overdue oil change

If you car is at 5,000 km dont put it off - get that much needed oil change. Also make sure you get the right oil for your vehicle for winter. As the temperature drops oil tends to thicken and if your oil is too thick it may fail in lubricating your engine properly

2. Ensure you have proper visibility at all times

Windshield wiper blades tend to be effective for approximately one year so make sure you change them when needed. Also make sure you fill up the windshield washer reservoir with windshield washer fluid which wont freeze like plain water when the temperature drops. Making sure your heater and defroster are in good working order is also essential to keeping your windshield clear and you in complete visibility of your surroundings.

3. Check your tire pressure

As the temperature drops your tire air pressure will decrease. Inadequate air pressure can result in reduced traction and a slower response time to braking therefore checking to make sure your tire pressure is correct is a good idea

4. Check your battery

Get your mechanic to make sure all battery posts and connections are corrosion-free. Also if your battery is more than 3 years old have it tested on its ability to hold change

5. Check your brakes

If its been more than 6 months since your last check up get your mechanic to make sure your brakes are in good condition prior to winter driving

6. Check the spare tire

Make sure you have air in the spare tire and all the tools you might need to change a flat tire

7. Think about getting snow tires

Depending on which Canadian province you live it may or may not be mandatory to have winter tires but regardless if your in an area with a large amount of snowfall or ice you might want to consider investing in snow tires to improve your on road traction.

8. Top up your gas as often as possible

Keeping a full gas tank can prevent your gas lines from freezing in extreme weather situations.

9. Update/Prepare your vehicle emergency kit

Being stranded without supplies or resources in cold weather can be highly dangerous. Make sure you prepare an emergency kit packed with necessary food and supplies in your vehicle at all times. For more information on how to build an emergency kit click here. Your vehicle emergency kit

10. Have an emergency plan

you should always know what do in the event you do get stranded

  • Never leave your vehicle unless you know where you are/how far help is
  • Light the flares from your emergency kit and place them on both sides of your cars to attract help
  • If your okay for gas then run the heater and engine for 10 minutes every hour to keep warm
  • Put on your extra clothes and cover yourself with your emergency blanket
  • Leave a window slightly open to prevent snow and ice from sealing the car completely
  • Keep yourself hydrated

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