Winter Driving Checklist
Make these your priority before you hit the road this winter.
- Winter tires are a must
Winter tires can help keep you safe on the roads this winter. As temperatures drop below 7°C, all season tires begin to lose grip. Winter tires, however, are made of rubber compounds that stay soft and pliable, even in cold temperatures. Plus, their treads are designed to dig into ice and snow, giving you even more control over your vehicle.
Shop winter tires
- Inspect or replace wiper blades
Some wiper blades are not built to withstand snow and ice in extreme conditions. Winter-specific wiper blades encase the structure of a traditional wiper with a rubber boot, helping prevent snow and ice from building up. Beam blades do not have hinges or frames, so there's nothing for the ice and snow to stick to. They also apply an even pressure across the entire length of the blade giving you clearer vision on the road.
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- Get an oil change with synthetic oil
Synthetic oil provides better engine protection from "cold starts" than conventional motor oil. Always refer to your Owner's Manual to ensure you use the right grade of synthetic oil.
Shop synthetic oil
- Top up winter windshield washer fluid
Winter windshield washer fluid is formulated to prevent freezing on your windshield, and has strong detergents to clean away salt and sand effectively.
Shop winter washer fluids
- Get your battery tested
The average life of a car battery in Canada is just under 5 years. If your battery is more than 3 years old, get it tested annually. If it's more than 5 years old, get it replaced. You wouldn't wait for the batteries in your smoke alarm to die before replacing them – why wait until your car battery leaves you stranded?
- Inspect lights
Visibility is the most important part of driving. Your lighting system should be at peak performance for winter. Bulbs don’t burn out instantly; they dim over time, so make sure to check if yours are operating at optimal performance levels, and always replace them in pairs. Think about whether a headlight restoration kit is the right option for you – it will help ensure your plastic headlights are clear.
- Monitor tire pressure
Your tire pressure changes when the tires are cold. For every 5.6°C (10°F), your tire pressure will change 1 psi (pounds per square inch) either up or down. A change up to 5 psi can affect a tire's performance, causing increased wear and fuel consumption. Check your owner's manual and make sure your tires are inflated to the recommended pressure.
Shop tire gauges
- Use Gas Line Antifreeze
When your gas tank is not always full, condensation can form and freeze, blocking the gas line. Gas line antifreeze helps prevent freezing and allows your engine to harmlessly burn off any condensation.
- Give your vehicle a winter-ready tune-up
Cold temperatures can affect your vehicle's performance. Check your spark plugs, brakes, steering & suspension, and exhaust to ensure your vehicle performs optimally in cold weather.
- Prepare an emergency winter roadside kit.
Even the most winter-ready drivers should be prepared for the unexpected. Make sure to stock your car with the this safety and emergency gear:
- Ice Scraper and Snow Brush
- Snow Shovel
- Reflective Safety Triangles/Pylons
- Flares / Spotlight
- Booster Cables/Booster Pack
- Traction Aid
- Extra Windshield Washer Fluid
- Emergency Blanket & Winter Clothes
- Emergency food
- Candle, can and matches
- First Aid Kit
- 12-Volt Air Compressor
- Tire Sealant