Ready or not …here it comes. Winter. Cold. Yuck. From scraping snow off your car to maneuvering through a snowstorm, winter driving can be frustrating for even the most seasoned driver.
“Like it or not, winter driving is a Canadian driver’s rite of passage,” says Darryl Croft, automotive maintenance expert at OK Tire. “Although winter conditions vary by province, knowing what to do and how to get your car winter ready is the best way to ensure you arrive at your destination safely.”Here are Croft’s top winter tips to get you and your car through the winter safely:
1. Extend your battery life. Cold temperatures can prove disastrous when it comes to battery life. To prevent being stranded in the cold, have your battery checked by an automotive expert to determine if yours will last the winter. Batteries should generally be replaced every five years.
2. Keep the gas tank full. Fuel economy is worse during colder months due to idling, lowered tire pressure, and increased usage of electrical devices. To prevent getting stranded, refill your gas tank before the gauge hits below the halfway mark.
3. Winter tire 101. Finding the right tire is essential for getting you through winter safely. Take into consideration the car make, model, weather, and wear before buying winter tires. Remember that all-weather tires aren’t designed for severe cold. Winter tires offer the best traction, handling, and braking in temperatures below 7°C.
4. Pack a survival kit. A winter survival kit will prepare you for any situation. A small shovel and non-clumping kitty litter or salt (for traction) are essential if you get stuck in snow. Other items to have in your kit include a blanket, warm clothing, non-perishable food items, candles and matches, emergency flares, flashlight, and booster cables. Find more information at www.oktire.com.
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