Yahoo Lifestyle Canada is committed to finding you the best products at the best prices. We may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.
There’s no denying it - winter is here.
As Canadians, we’re used to the cold and snow, but it still somehow manages to feel like a shock every time that first storm arrives.
Winter driving can be especially tricky, but with a little preparation you can make sure that your car is ready to take on the elements all season long. Ahead, find a checklist for the must-haves that every driver needs to stay safe this winter.
Start with the tires
Once the temperature hits 7°C you should be making the switch to winter tires, especially if you live in an area with plenty of snowfall. Made from special rubber compounds that allows them to stay flexible and grip the snow and ice, winter tires are a solid investment for any driver.
Once they’re on, don’t forget to check tires (including the spare!) for air pressure frequently. Changes in temperature can cause air to contract, leading to low tire pressure and less control while you’re on the roads.
Be prepared for anything
While it’s no surprise that an emergency kit is a driving must-have, according to CAA only 50% of Canadians actually have a winter driving kit in their vehicle. To stay prepared in the face of an unexpected event, be sure to keep blankets, flashlights and jumper cables in the car, along with non-perishable food items and water bottles in case of emergencies.
Check your fluids
When it comes to your fluids in your car, ensure that everything is kept well stocked for the duration of the season. As well as providing protection from the cold in the event of an accident, keeping levels above the halfway mark prevents condensation that can form inside gas tanks, which leads to freezing.
Be sure to also check that your coolant, also known as antifreeze, levels aren’t low, and that your oil is winter-ready.
Start each trip safely
Before hitting the road, remove any ice and snow that’s accumulated on the car or else face fines for dangerous driving. In Ontario for example, the Highway Traffic Amendment Act states that no person shall drive a vehicle “in a manner that would pose a danger to [others] on the highway if the snow or ice were to fall or slide off,” or else risk paying anywhere from $50 to $500 for the offence.
You’ll also want to start the car early before heading out, but not for as long as you may think. The common myth about “warming up the engine” before driving doesn’t actually require much time, since once you start driving it naturally starts to heat up quicker.
Shop our top picks for winter driving below, and stay safe all season long.
SHOP IT: Canadian Tire, $75
SHOP IT: Amazon, $9
SHOP IT: Walmart, $20
SHOP IT: Amazon, $79 (originally $89)
SHOP IT: Canadian Tire, $19
SHOP IT: Amazon, $40 (originally $47)