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Preparing your vehicle for winter driving

If winter driving is in your plans, you need to be prepared. Even for an experienced driver, accident risks are ongoing.

Before winter starts

In addition to having winter tires installed, you need to properly prepare your car for the challenges of cold weather. An inspection, checks, the right equipment, and a few basic preparations before hitting the road are key for winter driving.

Check the following before the start of the winter season:

  • Engine and transmission oil
  • Brake and power steering fluids and antifreeze
  • Heating and defrosting system
  • Fluid and lubricant levels
  • Wipers

*Windshield wipers with flexible rubber sheaths prevent ice from sticking. This improves visibility in freezing rain or sleet.

Be sure to also inspect:

  • Tires, including spare tire
  • Exhaust system
  • Ignition and electrical systems
  • Lights, turn signals, emergency lights, and horn
  • Belts
  • Brakes
  • Battery
  • Alternator

Clear the snow off your vehicle

Make sure to properly clear the snow off your vehicle using your snow brush and scraper. Fully inspect the windows, mirrors, roof, hood, headlights, and license plate.

Snow or ice falling from your vehicle can reduce visibility, injure pedestrians, damage other cars, and even cause accidents. In addition, you are liable for a $60 to $100 fine if your vehicle is not properly cleared.

Prepare an emergency kit

Make sure you have the following at all times:

  • Shovel
  • Scraper
  • Snow brush
  • Traction mats
  • Sandbag
  • Fuel line antifreeze
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Jumper cables
  • To keep warm: blanket, gloves or mitts, boots, scarf, and toque
  • To be visible and safe: safety flag, carbon monoxide detector, and emergency roadside flares (or other lighting devices)

Last update: March 20, 2024


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