By Kim Hutchison
As the weather starts to worsen, the condition of your vehicle shouldn’t.
Keeping whatever it is you drive maintained is key to keeping you and other motorists safe on the roads during the next few months. In order to ensure that safety, Canadian Safety Council (CSC) recommends a complete engine tune-up meaning all systems should be checked.
Brakes, which prohibit us from gliding through stop signs, red lights or into the back of the vehicles in front of us, must be in excellent shape. Have the break linings and equalization checked. Tires affect braking distances so it is also very important to make sure your tires have the proper pressure. If winter tires aren’t a possibility this year, all-weather tires are second best. If you do have winter tires make sure all four of them are for Canadian winters. A snowflake on the tire sidewalls indicates this.
All too often, especially when we are in a hurry, we don’t fully wipe off the windshield therefore drastically reducing visibility. Take the few extra moments required to clear snow and ice off all windows – not just a square enabling you to slightly see ahead of you – before driving making sure the defroster is working efficiently.
Replace old or worn wipers and have extra washer fluid in your trunk that can be used in temperatures of -35 degrees Celcius or lower.
It’s also a good idea to have basic equipment on hand just incase you find yourself stuck in snow or ice on or off the road. A helpful and handy checklist includes items such as an ice scraper and brush, shovel, sand, road flares, jumper cables, flashlight and, as previously mentioned, washer fluid with anti-freeze solvent. You should also have a spare tire, wheel wrench, tire jack, a blanket, fresh water, matches, a first aid kit and a car charger for a cell phone in case of emergency.
When visibility is low and conditions are far from idea, take more time driving to your destination. Keep in mind that getting somewhere late is far better then not making it there at all. Also remember to leave adequate space between your vehicle and one you are following because this simple step prevents uneccessary collisions from occurring.
For more information on how to prepare your vehicle for the weather ahead, visit Ponoka Fountain Tire or Ponoka Itegra.