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5 simple ways to prepare for winter driving

5 simple ways to prepare for winter driving

Canadian winters can be long and brutal but if you’re prepared, winter shouldn’t stop you going about your business.

You can go to great lengths to prepare yourself and your car for winter driving but we think just 5 simple things can help you survive whatever the season throws at us.

1. Prepare a winter emergency kit

If you don’t already have one, a winter emergency kit should be first on your preparation list. A simple winter kit should include a tow rope, ice scraper, de-icer, sand or salt, a small foldable shovel, LED flares, water, flashlight, energy bar and first aid kit.

You could optionally add a multitool or Swiss army knife, phone charger, jumper cables, whistle, blankets, handwarmers, spare clothes and a spare hat and gloves too if you like.

2. Check rubbers and engine fluids

The next check should only take ten minutes. Check all fluid levels in the engine, make sure all are topped up and that you have adequate antifreeze for your location. We recommend repeating this check once a month to ensure your engine always has what it needs.

Check all engine hoses for cracks and condition. The cold can take quite a toll on rubber so checking before things get really cold gives you the opportunity for some preventive maintenance.

3. Check your battery

Cold weather also takes its toll on our car batteries. If you haven’t checked your battery in a while, now is a good time. Make sure the battery is fully charged, the contacts are tight and have a good connection and make sure battery cables are in good condition.

If you have had your battery for a few years, it might be time to consider a new one. Older batteries lose charge faster and will suffer more in the cold.

4. Check or change your tires

When things get really cold, winter tires could mean the difference between escaping a situation safely and not escaping at all. They are a genuine lifesaver and if the conditions where you are warrant it, we cannot recommend them enough.

The time to check your winter tires is before you need them. Check them for condition, tread, damage and wear. Make sure you have a full working set and get them ready to use.

While you’re there, why not check the condition your summer tires too?

5. Check lights and wipers

Finally, check all your lights and turn signals to make sure they all work. Acquire a spare bulb pack for your car and keep it in the trunk with your emergency kit.

Also check all your wipers for condition. The same as engine hoses, the wiper rubber can perish over time. Rubber suffers under heat and sun and the cold. If you see cracks or wear in your wipers, change them immediately as you will need a lot them over winter!

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