(NC) With the “polar coaster” bringing icy arctic weather across Canada this winter, preparing your vehicle for harsh conditions can save the headache of surprise expenses and ensure your car is the safest possible.
Michael Bettencourt, managing editor at Autotrader.ca, knows firsthand the impact vehicle preparation has on road safety. Here are his expert do’s and don’ts to help you stay safe in snowy conditions.
Do: Consider winter tires. All-season tires won’t provide the same level of traction once snow, ice and freezing rain cover the roads. If you already use winter tires, beat delays and unnecessary safety risks by booking your appointment with a trusted mechanic. New to buying winter tires? Make sure you know the size and compatibility of a tire with your vehicle prior to purchasing. Some drivers might be tempted to save money by only purchasing two winter tires, but a vehicle should have a set of four matching tires for optimal performance.
Don’t: Ignore your service light. Staying safe in harsh winter driving conditions begins before you leave the driveway. If your service light is on, it’s time to stop by your local mechanic for a check-up. While you’re there, tune up your vehicle with a fresh oil change, de-icer wiper fluid and a brakes check.
Do: Check your emergency kit. Remember that emergency kit you threw in the trunk of your car when you first bought it? It’s time to take it out and make sure it still meets your winter needs. Some things you’ll need to include to winterize your kit are gloves, salt, a flashlight and de-icing equipment.
Don’t: Forget to clear snow off your vehicle. Now that your vehicle is ready to brace the brunt of winter storms, don’t forget to clear all debris off your vehicle before hitting the roads. You can be fined if snow covers your headlights or windows, so it’s worth the extra time to make sure your vehicle is free and clear of any debris. – newscanada