OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 13, 2012) - Following recent unstable weather conditions that left several municipalities along the eastern seaboard digging out from under a layer of snow and sleet, many motorists received a harsh reminder of the need to prepare vehicles before winter weather makes an appearance. As the season of treacherous driving conditions nears closer, CAA North & East Ontario (CAANEO) reminds motorists to stay safe during the coming months by preparing their vehicle early for winter conditions.
The most vital steps motorists need to take in preparing their vehicle to tackle snow and ice is to install winter tires. As the temperature continues to get colder, the rubber in all-season tires stiffens, which significantly reduces traction and control. Winter tires, however, maintain their elasticity in cold temperatures, providing superior handling and traction.
Motorists must also be aware that installing only two winter tires on the front or rear of a vehicle will not provide the necessary traction needed when roadways are snow-covered. Installing four matching winter tires and regularly checking to ensure they are inflated to the recommended pressure will help to provide optimal control through winter conditions.
"Winter tires are essential for providing vehicles with additional traction through ice and snow, but motorists must be cognizant that safety on our roadways starts with the driver. CAA North & East Ontario urges all motorists to adjust their driving habits accordingly to reflect weather conditions, which is important to keep in mind year-round," said Korey Kennedy, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for CAANEO.
When installing winter tires on your vehicle, remember these additional car care tips to help ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road with you:
- Battery: cold weather can wreak havoc on car batteries, so 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 function of your vehicle to fail 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. Fill up on winter washer fluid that is rated to -40°C and always carry an extra jug in your vehicle.
Motorists should also always have a road hazard kit in their vehicle for their safety and the safety of their passengers should the unexpected occur. CAANEO recommends that this kit contain essential survival items including a shovel, flashlight, blanket, and non-perishable food items.
CAA North & East Ontario is a non-profit membership organization, providing travel, emergency road services, insurance and advocacy for its Members. Visit caaneo.ca.