3 Key Tips to Keep You Safe when Driving during the Winter Months


Driving safely in winter

Winter can take a major toll on your vehicle, which is why it’s imperative you keep it in the best possible shape at all times. Think of your car as a child. You prepare your child for the winter weather – heavy jacket, boots, gloves, ear muffs, scarf, etc. Your vehicle is your child, and you must winterize it in order to maintain its proper working order.

3 Important Tips To Help You Ready Your Vehicle For Winter 

1 – Have A Mechanic Do A Check Up Of Your Vehicle 

Have a mechanic look over your vehicle and ready it for the winter: 

  • Your vehicle needs a tuning every 10,000 km’s, but even if your vehicle doesn’t need a tune-up, it doesn’t hurt to have a mechanic look under the hood. Cold weather can weaken them; a mechanic can ensure that your hoses and belts are in good order.
  • Make sure the mechanic also adds in antifreeze to protect your engine from the deep freeze (also necessary for hot days too). Antifreeze can reduce the amount of corrosion that occurs in your engine, as it keeps the fluids from freezing when temperatures ever reach 0 degrees.
  • You also want your vehicle’s oil changed every 1,000 km’s or once every three months. If the oil is too thick, it flows extremely slow and causes the engine to overheat. Cold temperatures will thicken oil but use a lower viscosity engine oil to keep that from happening as quickly.
  • Be sure you check the battery to ensure it’s in good condition. Batteries can last up to five years but still need to be maintained every year to ensure it’s good enough juice to keep the vehicle running.

Failure to check these things or add in antifreeze or change the oil means high tow truck and repair bills.

2 – Change Your Windshield Wipers and Deal With The Defroster

You certainly don’t want to be caught off guard by sleet or freezing rain. Make sure your vehicle’s windshield wipers are in good condition and actually work. Wipers are made from rubber and, over time, deteriorate. Be sure you change them out two times a year, and top off the wiper fluid to break the snow and ice up that accumulates on the window.

You also want to check your defroster before you go driving. Moisture that collects inside the car can condense on the glass, making it extremely hard to see. You certainly don’t want fog to keep you from driving safely. The defroster deals with it by blowing dry, warm air onto the glass. If the defroster isn’t working right or you still have an issue with excessive fogging, have the vehicle inspected for leaks around windows and doors.

3 – Have Properly Inflated Tyres

Be sure your vehicle’s tyres can handle the poor weather conditions, checking their tire pressure and tread. There’s a decrease in traction when you don’t have enough tread on your tyres, which increases the chance for sliding on wet or icy roads.  Always fill the tyres to the right amount based on the vehicle’s manual.

Special Note: Should you find yourself stuck in the car in the dead of winter with a dead battery, make sure you have a winter emergency kit in your vehicle. Be sure you have the following in your vehicle:

  • Coolant
  • Engine oil
  • Spare tyre and tools
  • Blankets and other items to keep warm
  • Car charger (if you’re lucky enough to have a car lighter that can charge your battery without the car needing to be turned on).