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5 Essential Winter Driving Tips For Canadians

5 Essential Winter Driving Tips For Canadians

Driving home for Christmas? Planning to visit family in Ontario? You won’t be the only motorist on the move this holiday season.


The holidays are always a busy time on our roads. Lots of people are off work for Christmas, many are visiting family or friends and there are many more cars than usual on our roads.


That makes driving safely more important than ever!



Car Nation Canada wants everyone to be safe over the holiday season so we have some safe winter driving tips to share.



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.


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.


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?


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!


Plan your trip


You may have driven to your destination a thousand times to visit family, but have you driven there in the snow? At Christmas when the roads are busier?


Look at the time of day. Check the weather. Look for road maintenance or closures. Make sure you know as much as possible about the route and the conditions you’ll be facing.


Time your trip


Once you have an idea of the roads and the conditions, you can make an informed decision about when to drive. I tend to leave at 4-5 am to miss the worst of the commuters and other people driving home for the holidays.


I can appreciate that not everyone wants to do that, but timing it right could make all the difference.


Watch for the return journey too


All the steps you take for the journey out should also be taken for the return leg. Also make sure to not drive early in the morning if you had alcohol the night before. Cops are very hot on drink driving over the holidays and even an accidental ticket is never good news.


Plus, safety.


Prepare for the worst


If you don’t already have a winter kit in your car, get one. That’s especially true if you’re travelling with children. A spare blanket and extra clothes could make all the difference if you break down and have to wait for a tow.


Adding a spare torch, phone charger, flask of tea or coffee and a bottle of water could also make a big difference. It only takes a minute to put together.


All of us here at Car Nation Canada want you to have a safe and happy holiday so be careful out there!


Categories: Car News