Simple ways to prepare your car for winter
Darcy Wintonyk and Lynda Steele, CTV British Columbia
Published Wednesday, December 5, 2012 6:00AM PST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 5, 2012 7:33PM PST
We all know bad weather is coming, but we still seem to be surprised when it hits. Thankfully there are easy ways to get your car ready for winter.
These tips are a simple reminder of how you can keep safe on B.C. roads when inclement weather hits.
Bob Benson of Cam Clark Ford Auto Group says the single best thing you can do is have snow tires mounted on your vehicle.
He says many B.C. drivers are riding on all-season tires, but they're only good until about 7 degrees Celsius.
"Below 7 degrees Celsius [it] becomes hard and gets slippery on a slippery surface and then you have to really adjust your driving style to be safe on the road with it,” Benson said.
Winter tires are softer and able to grip the road better in snow and ice, which is a big deal when it comes to braking in bad weather.
For $80, the Cam Clark Ford Dealership in North Vancouver will store your summer tires while you drive on your winter ones. Come spring, for another $80, they'll take your winter tires off and store them for the season.
A cold-weather must is a vehicle survival kit, says Carmen Ewles of First Aid and Survival Technologies Limited, or F.A.S.T., in Delta.
Their kits contain everything from emergency flares to survival rations and first aid supplies.
Keep the kit in your trunk, especially during winter months. Some important things to include:
- Emergency food and water rations
- Personal toilet tissue
- Emergency foil blanket
- Emergency lightsticks
- 36-hour candle
- Waterproof matches
- Garbage bag
- Mini flashlight
- ”AA” Alkaline batteries
- Road Flares (45 min)
Update your vehicle
Something as simple as a new set of windshield wipers every six months could help keep you out of danger on the roads.
Having the right washer fluid is also key. Pink is for summer, blue is for winter.
"If you mix water with dish soap, that's great for summer and bugs, but that'll freeze and you're dead in the water when it gets really cold outside,” Benson said.
Finally, check your tire pressure. The pressure in your tires drops as the weather cools. Proper tire pressure will ensure you get the best traction on the road when you’re driving in wet or snowy conditions.