How To Ready Your Car For The Winter
Canadian winters are recognized for being among the roughest on the planet. Although some would like to stay inside until spring, life goes on. Many people continue to use their car to go about their daily activities. If that is your case, it's essential to ready your vehicle properly before the cold season sets in to make sure you and your passengers are safe. Here's how.
Make sure your car battery is in good condition. You can either do it yourself using a multimeter (sold in stores) or go to a garage near you and have it checked. The voltage should be 12.45 or higher. Otherwise, consider replacing the battery.
Check your car's tire pressure. Tires must be inflated based on the manufacturer's recommendation. Low tire pressure affects traction, stability and braking, and it speeds up wear as well.
Install hubcaps. Several Canadians choose not to use hubcaps in the winter. It should be pointed out that doing so during the cold season protects nuts and bolts and reduces the formation of ice in the wheels, which often has an impact on how the car handles.
Keep an adequate level of fuel. In the winter, your fuel tank should always be at least half full. This will prevent the formation of condensation, which can cause the pipes to freeze.
Check your wiper blades. Most of the models offered on the market have a wear indicator that lets you know when it's time to replace them. Keeping your wipers in good condition makes for better visibility in bad weather.
It is also important to always keep the following items in your car in the winter:
- a snow brush and ice scraper to effectively clear the snow and ice from your car before leaving
- a small snow shovel in case of a snow buildup
- tire chains or traction aids in case you get stuck
- warm clothes (tuque, gloves, socks), a warm blanket, and non-perishable snacks (e.g.: chewy bars) in case you need to stay in your vehicle for a while
We also recommend keeping a small bag of Alaskan Premium Ice Melter in the trunk and a can of Alaskan Multi-purpose De-Icer in the glove compartment. These effective, fast-acting products will prove very handy if needed.
Apply those tips and you'll feel a lot safer when you hit the road this season. Of course, don't forget to adapt your driving to the winter weather!