Planning for Winter Means Having Your Vehicle Ready Too

November 1, 2017 - 9:22am

Planning for winter includes making your vehicle ready too!

It's never fun if your vehicle lets you down, but it can be downright miserable or even dangerous if it happens on a cold winter day. Just as we’ve cleaned our windows and raked up the leaves in preparation for winter, so too should your car we winterized. Here are a few things you should know about "winterizing" your vehicle:

Winter tires: Make sure you have a good set of winter tires. They'll improve traction, but if they are severely worn, you'll have trouble braking, accelerating and handling, especially on slippery roads. Many people opt for "all-season" tires. Depending on your local climate, they can be an adequate compromise for average year-round weather conditions but won't perform as well as genuine winter tires in the worst ice and snow.  Whatever you choose, buy them before winter arrives.

Exhaust system: Be sure to check the muffler and exhaust pipes for leaks and for their general condition each fall. Corrosion or perforations in the exhaust system can permit leakage of lethal carbon monoxide fumes into the passenger compartment. When there's snow on the roads, ensure your exhaust tailpipe isn't obstructed by it when starting the engine, and never back into snow banks.

Tire pressure: Since traction is compromised when driving on ice or snow, the correct tire pressure is critical. Properly inflated tires ensure good contact with the road and protect the wheels from pothole damage. Your owner's manual should list the recommended pressures.

Wipers and washer fluid: Typically, there is reduced visibility in winter due to reduced daylight, snow and ice. In most parts of Canada, wiper blades last one year before needing replacement and sooner if damaged. If you live where there is lots of ice and snow during the winter you should consider investing in wipers made specifically for winter.

During the winter months, it is best to use windshield washer fluid made for colder temperatures to avoid further reduction in visibility. Also check your reservoir on a regular basis before heading out. Before the season starts, assemble the things you would need if stuck somewhere on a remote winter road. Include all the usual emergency things, but you should also have extra items for the longer trips.

The things you should always have in your car during winter.

Flashlight
Flares
Blankets and extra clothing
Shovel
Gloves
Fuses
Booster cables
Sand bags or Traction pads
Scraper and brush
Matches and candles
Gas line antifreeze
First aid kit
Tow rope
Chocolate bars-they won't spoil and they provide food in an emergency
Tire chains
Crowbar and other small hand tools

Whether it’s a short shopping trip out of town or a longer excursion, be prepared for winter emergencies and don’t wait till the snow on the ground tells us all winter is here. Taking a first aid course is a great way to learn how to be prepared and what to do in an emergency. Our trained professionals will give you the skills to prevent emergencies and most of all know what to do. Statistics say that 40% of all injuries reduced by people taking a first aid course. Protect yourself, your family and fellow co-workers.

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