Five tips to prepare your vehicle for winter
Nothing’s as pretty as a winter flurry! But the cold season also brings with it some complications for your car. A temperamental battery is a prime example. Here are five tips to help you stay safe on the road this winter.
1. Protect your paint
As the end of fall approaches, make sure to clean your vehicle’s interior and exterior. Pay close attention to the condition of its paint. If you notice any chips exposing your vehicle’s metal body to the elements, fill them in to prevent corrosion.
It’s relatively easy to touch up the paint yourself—just pick up the right paint colour from an auto parts retailer. You should also think about washing your car a few times through the winter to loosen any calcium residue building up on the body.
2. Ensure proper visibility on the road
Replace the summer windshield wipers with winter wipers, which are more efficient and robust, making them less likely to break under the weight of ice. When on the road in the middle of a storm, it’s essential you maintain the best visibility possible!
In the same vein, don’t forget to use an antifreeze windshield washer fluid to ensure that your vehicle’s reservoir doesn’t freeze in the cold. Another helpful solution to think about for maintaining proper visibility through snow and sleet is a rain repellent windshield coating.
3. Drive out cabin humidity
There’s nothing worse than a foggy windshield. Cabin humidity often results in condensation forming on the cold windshield. Luckily, certain practices can reduce cabin humidity.
First, regularly replace your cabin air filter. You can buy an air filter at any auto parts retailer and easily install it with the help of the instructions provided in the owner’s manual.
Then, replace your summer mats with winter mats. These not only better protect your vehicle, they also dry quicker, limiting the humidity they release. The other advantage is that they allow you to keep your summer mats clean for when the warm weather returns!
4. Change your summer tires for winters
To drive safely in cold temperatures, you should install your winter tires once the mercury stays consistently below 7° Celsius. In Quebec, winter tires are mandatory from December 1 to March 15.
When changing your tires, ask your technician if they’re in good enough shape to safely stand up to the rigours of winter. It’s a good idea to set up an appointment with your technician early, since the first snow can come as soon as the end of October.
5. Get a mechanical inspection
To drive with peace of mind this winter, schedule a pre-winter inspection for your vehicle. During the inspection, your technician will check the condition of your brakes, spark plugs, headlights, fluid levels and thermostat. And if the battery charge is low, better change it before cold winter temperatures put it to the test. Finally, have them change the oil and you’re all set!
Before the snow starts to fall, make sure your car is equipped with the following nine essentials. Feel free to personalize this emergency kit to stay safe rain, snow or shine, and according to your needs.
The goal: preventing accidents and claims
Traffic accidents are much more common during the winter. According to the Groupement des assureurs automobiles (GAA), auto claims increased by around 30% during this period. That’s why it’s so important to prepare your vehicle for winter and adapt your driving to the prevailing weather conditions.
Your insurance policy covers damage in the event of an accident according to the terms of your contract. All vehicle owners in Canada must at minimum purchase Civil Liability coverage. In the event of an at-fault accident, coverage for Damage to Insured Vehicles, Collision and Upset (coverage 2 under chapter B), must be included in the risks covered under your policy for the insurer to cover the damage sustained to your vehicle.
Following the speed limit and avoiding distractions at the wheel are easy ways to keep you and others safe on the road, and to maintain a favourable driving record, which may influence your premium. Repeated traffic violations considerably increase auto insurance premiums. Driving carefully also limits your risk of collision. One less claim means more savings on your side!
To learn more, check out: Insuring your vehicle “one way” or “two ways”?
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