A car on a maritime roadway that has been properly winterized.
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Ten Things To Know To Winterize Your Vehicle

Winterize Your Vehicle Like A Pro This Winter

Maritime winter weather can be unforgiving, and preparing your vehicle for these challenging conditions is essential. To help you minimize the risk of getting stuck in hazardous situations, here are some tips to winterize your vehicle:

1. Ensure Your Lights are Working Properly

Visibility is a significant concern during Canadian winters. Ensure that all your vehicle’s lights, including headlights and brake lights, are functioning correctly. This helps you see the road and makes your vehicle more visible to others.

2. Have a Fully Charged Battery

In Canada, approximately 30% of service calls to automobile associations during the winter months are related to dead or weak batteries (CAA). Cold weather can strain your car’s battery. Test it before winter arrives, and if it’s not in optimal condition, consider replacing it to prevent starting issues.

3. Install Proper Tires

According to the Government of Canada winter tires can reduce braking distance by up to 25% on icy roads. Switching to a set of four winter tires is crucial for maintaining control and stability on icy roads. Make this change before the first snowfall and regularly check the tire treads to ensure they’re not too worn.

4. Check Tire Pressure

Fluctuating temperatures during the winter can cause unpredictable tire pressure changes. Monitor your tire pressure frequently during the winter months. Cold weather can cause the air in your tires to contract, leading to low pressure. Maintain the recommended pressure levels for optimal traction.

5. Always Keep a Brush and Scraper in Your Car

Keep a brush and scraper in your vehicle at all times to comply with legal requirements and ensure clear visibility. Remove snow and ice from windows, license plates, headlights, and tail lights before hitting the road.

6. Have Good Windshield Wipers

Canadian winters put windshield wipers to the test. Check their durability, and use antifreeze wiper fluid designed for cold weather. Keep a spare wiper fluid container in your car.

7. Keep a Safety Kit 

Include a winter-specific safety kit in your vehicle, containing essentials like a first aid kit, matches, flares, ice scraper, flashlight, food, water, warm clothing, extra antifreeze, and a cell phone. In extreme winter conditions, a safety kit can be a lifesaver, as it helps you stay prepared for emergencies.

8. Check Your Belts and Hoses

Cold temperatures can weaken engine belts and hoses. Inspect them for cracks, fraying, or splitting during the winter months, and replace any damaged components.

9. Check Your Oil

Cold weather can make engine oil sluggish. Keep the oil level topped off to ensure proper engine function during the winter months.

10. Check Your Brake Fluid

In Canada, winter weather can lead to challenging driving conditions, making reliable brakes essential (Transport Canada). Ensure your brake fluid is in good condition and reliable for icy and snowy conditions.

By winterizing your vehicle and following these tips, you’ll reduce the chances of encountering problems during harsh Canadian winters. Prioritize safety and rely on your well-prepared vehicle to safely navigate the challenging winter months.

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