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.