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Tips to prepare your vehicle for winter weather

By Brad Perry Nov 20, 2023 | 7:09 AM

With winter nearly upon us, now is a good time to make sure you and your vehicle are prepared for the season.

Julia Kent, a spokesperson with CAA Atlantic, said the most important thing is having winter tires for your vehicle.

“They reduce braking on snowy and icy roads by 25 per cent. They work best under 7°C,” Kent said in an interview.

Winter tires are made of a rubber compound that stays soft and flexible, and can grip the road in wet and cold conditions.

They also have a deeper, wider, and more jagged tread that provides more traction between your vehicle and the road.

Kent said it is also important to get a vehicle check-up before winter arrives as the colder temperatures are an added strain on your vehicle.

“That includes alternator, ignition, lights, brakes, exhaust, windshield wipers, and above all, your battery,” she said.

Dead batteries are the number one reason that people call CAA during the winter, according to Kent, who noted they are only made to last three to five years.

You should also top-up your trunk with washer fluid, replacement wipers, a first aid kit, food in case you get stuck, a shovel, a scraper, a brush, a flashlight, spare gloves, a toque, and a blanket.

Before heading out on the road, Kent said it is important to remove all of the snow from your vehicle, including the roof, hood, windows and lights, and clear all windows of condensation and frost.

You should give yourself extra time to arrive at your destination and avoid driving in particularly bad weather conditions.

It is also a good idea to ensure you always have at least half a tank of fuel just in case you get stuck or break down.

“I think that the biggest problem is we kind of develop amnesia it seems year after year and kind of forget those skills and the things we need to remember to do to be safe on the roads in the winter,” said Kent.

You can find more tips from CAA Atlantic by visiting their website.