Category

Safe driving tips

How To Prepare Your Vehicle For Winter

Winter is right around the corner, and with it comes something that most vehicles owners in Canada dread: winter driving.

Not only are the roads harder to navigate because of all the snow and ice, the cold weather also makes life a lot harder on your vehicle’s engine. Whether you’re trying to avoid dangerous accidents or costly trips to the mechanic, how you prepare your vehicle for winter is incredibly important.

Here are some of Obvi’s top tips and tricks to keep your vehicle safe and running during the coming winter months.

Put winter tires on your vehicle

This one might seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of vehicle owners still neglect to do it.

Even though a set of winter tires isn’t cheap, the added traction and stability on icy, snow-covered roads could save you from the costs of an accident — both personal and financial.

Get a winter checkup

Does your vehicle have enough engine coolant and antifreeze? Is your engine using normal oil or synthetic oil? Are your belts and hoses nearing the point of failure? How strong is your battery?

Cold weather is hard on our cars, trucks and SUVs, raising the chances of breakdowns and other problems. A quick and affordable winter checkup, which can be performed at most licensed repair facilities, is a good idea every year.

Keep an emergency kit in your car

There are few driving situations more stressful — or more dangerous — than being stranded on the side of the road with the temperature dropping.

That’s why it’s a good idea to keep a winter emergency kit or supply box in your vehicle.

Some items that are useful to have on hand include, but are not limited to: a portable (and fully charged) battery pack and connecting cable for your cell phone, a warm blanket (or multiple warm blankets), a change of warm clothes, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, a radio, a bag of sand (to help get a vehicle unstuck), an extra pair of gloves, non-perishable snacks, road flares, an ice scraper and a shovel.

Learn seasonal driving tips and techniques

Simply put, driving on icy and snowy roads is much different than driving on clean, dry pavement during the warmer months. With less road traction and reduced visibility, drivers need to be much more careful and alert when they get behind the wheel.

According to Transport Canada, some tips and techniques for winter driving include removing all snow from the vehicle’s exterior before moving, use your lights to make yourself more visible, give yourself extra time to make trips, avoid using cruise control on slippery surfaces and, most importantly and applicably, SLOW DOWN!

Get vehicle replacement insurance

Even if you take all the necessary precautions and drive as safely as you can, accidents can still happen — after all, you can’t control the other drivers on the road. And if an accident happens in the winter, getting around in the cold weather without a car can be quite a challenge.

In the event of a write-off your insurance company might reimburse you, but what they’ll pay is the depreciated Actual Cash Value of your vehicle —not what you initially paid. If you need a vehicle that can handle driving through deep snow or reliably make highway winter drives, sometimes that insurance payout isn’t enough to get you back behind the wheel of the type of vehicle that you need.

Purchasing vehicle replacement insurance, such as the kind offered by Obvi, is a great way to ensure that your investment is protected against costly depreciation in the event of an accident. You can contact Obvi to learn more about vehicle replacement insurance.

Tips for protecting your car from being stolen or broken into

f350

Tips for protecting your car from being stolen or broken into

When I was a child growing up, I remember very clearly my parents taking every precaution they could to protect their car from being stolen. They would use a huge clunky steering wheel lock, take the radio out of the car and into the house, and open the glove box to show there was nothing in there. It was just part of their routine, but eventually over the years the safety routine has slowly diminished. Radios aren’t the valuable commodity they used to be in a car, and it is rare these days to see a visible lock across the steering wheel.

Having said that, they are still very aware that the car could be stolen and don’t leave anything inside it. Although they live in a tiny village in the countryside, they’ve had their windshield wipers taken a couple of times but luckily not the car itself. Family members in the center of a city went through such a bad patch that they even kept their car keys locked in their bedside table as car theft in the area was rife. My neighbors in Calgary in comparison aren’t very careful and said that back home in Manitoba, they permanently leave the keys in the ignition as they are so sure that their car is perfectly safe.

Whatever your safety routine is, it’s important to hear the news that car theft is up in Canada by 6% with some provinces a lot more affected than others. And interestingly, the most stolen car is the Ford F-350 with 8 different versions in the Top 10 stolen cars.

Did you worry about the loss of value on your car? Then New Vehicle Replacement Insurance could be for you. Check out more info here.

Here are our Top Tips for protecting your car:

  • Don’t leave anything out in your car

Not sunglasses, not a coat or jacket, not your Sat Nav cable – nothing! I’ve heard people say they can’t believe their car was broken into because all they left out was a pair of sunglasses…. Just don’t leave anything out.

  • Put your shopping out of sight

Ok, so sometimes you need to leave things like shopping in the car whilst you are out and about. Put it in the trunk and make sure it’s covered so you can’t see it. If thieves are looking for stuff to steal but can’t see anything, they will move on.

  • Make sure you lock your doors

It’s surprising how easy it is to get distracted and forget, so make an effort to check the doors are locked.

  • Leave your windows up

Whatever you do, don’t leave your windows open, even if it’s just a crack. It makes it an easy target to be stolen.

  • Choose wisely where you park your car

Park your car in a well-lit place, or ideally safely away in your garage. If you regularly park in the same spot for work, it might be worth changing it up as thieves look for a routine to minimize the risk of them getting caught.

  • Don’t leave your car running and go and do something

Even in Winter when you are warming the car up and de-icing, don’t leave the engine running and quickly go back into the house. Cars do get stolen this way! Between November and December 2017, Calgary Police said that 200 automobiles were stolen whilst idling.

Find out more about Obvi’s Vehicle Replacement Insurance and get a free quote.