Maritime winter weather is always challenging, and you want to make sure your vehicle is ready to face the elements. Reduce the chance of getting stuck in a dangerous situation by following these tips to winterize your vehicle.

1. Ensure Your Lights are Working Properly

In the winter, vehicles are especially hard to see on the road. You want to ensure all lights on your car are working properly in order to see and be seen. Replace any faulty headlights, or brake lights for the winter season.

2. Have a Fully Charged Battery

In cold weather a depleted battery might not be enough to start your engine. Before the winter season, test your battery, and if it’s not in the best shape, consider replacing it.

3. Install Proper Tires

Installing a set of 4 winter tires helps maintain control and stability in icy situations. Changing to winter tires before the first snowfall can help further protect you and your family. Regularly check the tire treads, as you should not use tires that are worn close to the tread-wear indicator, as this reduces traction.

4. Check Tire Pressure

In the winter months, checking tire pressure is extremely important. The fluctuating weather means that tire pressure is unpredictable. The air in the tire contracts in colder weather, and expands in hotter weather. Constantly watch your tire pressure especially in winter months.

5. Always Keep a Brush and Scraper in Your Car

By law, motorists must have their windows, license plate, headlights, and tail lights cleared of snow and ice, as well as the snow mattress (snow piled on top of your car). By failing to clear snow and ice from your vehicle, you are risking reduced visibility, and flying ice and snow which can hit other vehicles. Always keep a brush and scraper handy to use if need be.

6. Have Good Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers do a lot of work in the winter. They work against water, heavy snow, and caked on ice. You should check to see if your windshield wipers are durable enough to last through the winter, or if they should be replaced. You should also use antifreeze wiper fluid, which is designed to stay liquid in the cold weather, and melts off ice from the windshield. It is a good idea to keep backup fluid in your car.

7. Keep a Safety Kit

If ever something happens to your car, and you’re stuck by the side of the road, it’s very helpful to have a safety kit containing everything you may need, especially for the winter months. The kit should contain: First aid kit, matches, flares, ice scraper, flashlight, food, water, warm clothing, extra antifreeze, and a cell phone.

8. Check Your Belts and Hoses

Giving your belts and hoses a check during the winter months is a good idea. Cold temperatures can weaken the belts and hoses that make your engine run. A cracked, fraying, or split belt needs replacing, because a broken belt will leave you stranded

9. Check Your Oil

Cold temperatures can make the oil sluggish, so during the winter months it is important to keep the oil level topped off. The cold oil will pump slower through the engine and also put more strain on the cars battery.

10. Check Your Brake Fluid

Just like every other liquid in a cold car, the brake fluid will be more sluggish and thick, than when in hot weather. Check and make sure everything’s okay with your brake and brake fluid, so you can rely on them for the icy, snowy months ahead.

Getting your car winterized reduces the chance of something going wrong. Winter driving is tough enough, you don’t need vehicle malfunctions as well. Focus on driving, and rely on your car to safely take you through the winter months.

Cantini Law Group has over 30 years of experience advocating for clients who have suffered injuries following a motor vehicle accident. With 5 locations serving NS, NB, and PEI, contact Cantini at 1-844-CANTINI (226-8464).