How to keep your vehicle running smoothly all winter

There’s an old joke that there are two driving seasons in Canada: winter and road construction. Well, we’re moving into the winter part of the year. So, now is a good time to make sure your vehicle is ready to carry you safely through the season.

Here are a few safe winter driving tips from Aviva Canada:

Switch to winter tires
Quebec and most highways in British Columbia are the only two jurisdictions in Canada where winter tires are required by law. But every Canadian driver should invest in winter tires for safety. All-seasons just don’t provide the traction needed in snowy or icy conditions.

For year-round safety, you should regularly check your tire pressure. In cold weather, tire-pressure will drop. Properly inflated tires grip the road better and improve fuel efficiency.

Top it up
Winter driving means a messy windshield. Regularly top up your washer fluid and store an extra jug in your car in case you run out on the road. You should also inspect your wiper blades and replace them if they’re starting to leave streaks.

Also regularly check the levels of your oil and coolant, particularly before heading out on longer trips. And try to keep your gas tank at least half-full in case you get stuck in a storm.

Be prepared
Always keep an emergency kit in your car. It can truly be a lifesaver if you have a breakdown in winter. It should include some non-perishable food, water, a flashlight and a first-aid kit. Add some candles and matches or a lighter to provide emergency warmth if you’re stuck for a long time. You can also include some warm clothing or a thermal blanket.

Check the basics
Check your battery, lights, windshield wipers and brakes to ensure they’re all in good working order before cold weather conditions start. This includes keeping your gas tank at least half-full at all times. This will help you out during any unexpected delays.

Hail damage
Hailstorms can cause significant damage to your vehicle. If you your vehicle is damaged in a hailstorm, call your insurance company immediately. They will be able to guide you through the claim process if needed.

Finally, consider storing a bag of kitty litter in the trunk that you can use to provide some traction if your tires are on spinning on the ice.

Find out more about car insurance options for protection this winter and year-round at aviva.ca

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