Is your car ready for winter wonderland weather? To stay safe on the roads this winter, make sure your vehicle is ready for hazardous weather conditions ahead. Here are some tips on how to get your car ready for when the temperature drops.
Winter tires are surely needed for Canadian winters. They brake, handle corners and accelerate better than any other tires in winter conditions. They are designed particularly for snow, ice, slush and frigid temperatures. It is essential you take a break from all-season tires and switch to winter tires for the season. This is because all-season tires are not equipped for the challenges of heavy snowfall and slippery ice.
Be sure to check your winter tires each season, preferably in November, to make sure they are not too worn in. Don’t forget to check winter tire pressure once a month, when the tires are cold. Cold tires will guarantee an accurate reading. When choosing winter tires, look for the image of a mountain with a snowflake.
When the cold weather hits, starting your vehicle requires a fully-charged battery. Wheels recommends getting your car battery professionally tested before winter to see if the cables aren’t cracked and there’s no corrosion on the terminals. Frigid temperatures can greatly contribute to shortening the battery life span. Don’t wait till the middle of winter to have your car battery replaced.
One of the most important tasks you can do this winter, is make sure your car is equipped with a winter emergency driving kit. With snow and ice making the roads slicker and less visible, it is crucial to be a good defensive driver and be prepared for the unexpected. Having a winter emergency kit in your car could help save the lives of you and your passengers.
These kits can be purchased at various hardware stores and some of the items you may already have at home. The emergency kit should include windshield wiper fluid, an ice scraper, fuel line antifreeze, booster cables, a blanket, traction mats, kitty litter, a shovel, flashlight, cell phone charger, reflective vest, matches, survival candle, water and non-perishable food items. All of these items are beneficial in emergency situations.
It can be difficult to see at night, especially during snowstorms. This is why you want to make sure you’re windshield wipers are in good working condition or consider replacing the blades to ones which will be more durable for severe winter weather. Along with working windshield wipers, make sure you have enough wiper fluid and keep some in your winter emergency kit.
Before freezing temperatures arrive, think about the coolant in your vehicle. Coolant, also known as antifreeze, is the fluid in your radiator. Coolant prevents the water in the radiator from freezing. Without it, your car’s engine can freeze, which can result in being stranded during the coldest months of the year.
To check your car’s antifreeze levels, read our post about to check antifreeze and identify leaks, as well as your vehicle manual for additional information. Coolant and antifreeze can be bought at auto supply and hardware stores.
Having heat in your car is crucial to keeping warm in winter and defrosters help the driver with visibility. It’s wise to check them now before you start to heavily rely on them. Turn them on to see if warm air comes out. While you are inspecting, check you’re A/C. Similar to a defroster, A/C can remove excess moisture which can fog up the front and rear windows of your vehicle.
Winter may be hectic with the holidays, but it’s also a good time to review your auto insurance coverage. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast each morning, and drive slowly and safely.
These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.
In Quebec, Desjardins Insurance refers to Desjardins General Insurance Inc. In Ontario and Alberta, Desjardins Insurance refers to Certas Direct Insurance Company, underwriter of automobile and property insurance.