CAA North & East Ontario (CAANEO)

CAA North & East Ontario (CAANEO)

November 14, 2011 09:16 ET

Don't Get Frigid on Winter Preparation for Your Vehicle

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 14, 2011) - With recent early snowstorms that have left many municipalities along the eastern seaboard surprised and buried under a layer of snow, many motorists were provided with an all-too real reminder of the need to prepare vehicles before the ice and snow makes an appearance. As winter and treacherous driving conditions near closer, CAA North & East Ontario (CAANEO) reminds motorists to stay safe during the coming months by preparing their vehicle for the cold season ahead.

One of the most fundamental steps motorists need to take in preparing their vehicle to tackle snow and ice is to have winter tires installed on their vehicle. As the temperature continues to drop, the rubber in all-season tires stiffens, which significantly reduces traction and control. Winter tires, however, contain materials that maintain elasticity in cold temperatures, allowing for superior handling and traction during the winter season.

Motorists must also remember that installing only two winter tires on the front or rear of a vehicle will greatly underperform on a snow-covered roadway compared to a vehicle that has matching winter tires on all wheels. Installing four matching winter tires and regularly testing their pressure at least once a month to ensure they are properly inflated will help to provide optimal control through winter conditions.

"Motorists need to keep in mind that safety on the roadways starts with the driver. While winter tires provide vehicles with added traction through ice and snow, motorists must still recognize the need to adjust their driving habits to reflect the weather conditions," said Korey Kennedy, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for CAANEO.

While installing winter tires on your vehicle is an essential step to prepare your vehicle for the winter months, there are other car care tips to remember to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road with you.

  • Battery: because cold weather can wreak havoc on car batteries, have your battery tested and replaced if necessary. Always carry a set of booster cables in case your battery fails.
  • Brakes: have your brakes serviced to ensure you will have even and stable braking in poor weather conditions. Unusual grinding or squealing, pulling, or change in pedal feel are often indicators of a brake problem.
  • Exhaust: check for leaks that could send carbon monoxide into your vehicle. Exhaust leaks are also a leading cause of excessive fuel consumption.
  • Heating/Cooling: because you don't want this to fail you on cold days, have the strength of the anti-freeze and function of the heater and defroster tested. Inspect your radiator, radiator cap and hoses for cracks and leaks.
  • Lights: make sure that all your lights are working and headlights are set in the proper position.
  • Windshield Wipers: replace any wiper blades that smear or streak with blades designed for winter use to ensure greater visibility. Fill up on winter washer fluid that is rated to -40°C and always carry an extra jug in your vehicle.

Additionally, motorists should always have a road hazard kit in their vehicle to ensure their safety and the safety of their passengers in case the unexpected does occur. CAANEO recommends that this kit contain essential survival items including a shovel, flashlight, blanket, and non-perishable food items.

For more than 100 years, the Canadian Automobile Association has provided travel, emergency road services, insurance and advocacy for its Members.

Contact Information

  • CAA North & East Ontario
    Erin Kelly
    Communications Specialist
    Cell: 613-290-3648