Preparing your car for winter in Ontario

Published On: October 22nd, 2020Categories: Personal Insurance

It’s winter in Ontario,
And the gentle breezes blow,
70 miles per hour at 52 below!
Oh, how I love Ontario
When the snow’s up to your butt.
You take a breath of winter air
And your nose is frozen shut.
Yes, the weather here is wonderful,
I guess I’ll hang around.
I could never leave Ontario,
‘Cause I’m frozen to the ground.
~ Anonymous

Winter in Ontario can be hard on our vehicles. Road conditions can be unpredictable from one day or one town to the next. To ensure you and your vehicle are best prepared for the challenge, here is a list of things you can do to get your car ready for winter in Ontario.

Ensure you have winter tires installed on your vehicle.

While winter tires are an added upfront investment for yourself and your family’s safety, they do significantly reduce your chance of suffering a winter driving accident. Studies show a meaningful decline in auto-related collisions after winter tires became mandated.

Winter tires provide better traction in snow, ice, and slushy winter conditions. In the winter, tires also will require air more frequently. Make sure you check tire pressure every few weeks throughout the winter.

Insurance companies realize the benefit of having winter tires installed. Many insurers will offer special discounts on your insurance premium by having winter tires installed. Learn more about winter tire discounts.

Prepare a winter weather emergency kit for your car.

Whether your vehicle stalls in the cold, you slide into a snowbank, or another unfortunate winter driving issue arises, a well-thought-out winter emergency kit will help keep your family safe and warm while giving you the best chance to find a quick resolution.

We have done the legwork by creating a winter emergency preparedness kit for you.

Install winter-ready wiper blades

Many people think to replace their wiper blades when the blades stop performing well. It is much less common to install blades specifically made for driving in winter conditions.

What makes winter wiper blades made for winter? Technology enhancements include greater tensile strength to handle moving heavier ice, protected hinges designed to minimize ice build-up and a sturdier frame to prevent bending.

If your current wipers are still in satisfactory condition, you could either add them to your emergency kit (in case your winter wipers do break on the road) or store them until the spring.

Ensure internal maintenance lights are working

When your car first starts up, all emergency related lights should flash on the panel. Reference your owner manual to confirm all appropriate warning lights are in working order.

Check your car battery

Do you have an old battery? Have you experienced any car battery-related issues lately? Generally speaking, the rule of thumb is to change your car battery every four-to-five years, but that differs depending on the type of battery and usage.

It could be time to change your battery if you require frequent jump starts, headlights (or interior lights) are dimmer than usual, you experience odd power fluctuations, or have trouble getting the vehicle started.

Clean your headlights (if cloudy)

Over time, it is common for your headlights to get covered in a cloudy film, reducing your headlights’ effectiveness while driving. Less effective headlights can make night driving more dangerous any time but especially during winter when it is darker for more of the day and other drivers rely more on being able to see each other.

There are several tips and tricks to get your headlights clean. You can check our various videos on Youtube to find one that fits how you want to clean.

Ontario winters can be harsh, but they are also beautiful. Getting your car winter-ready will let you spend less time dealing with the harsh so you can enjoy more of the beauty.

Written by:

Larry Mullins
My name is Larry and I am a New Client Specialist at Bryson. People who know me best say I am a fun, easy-going person who likes to laugh. I love mystery novels, which is why I also love insurance as I enjoy sleuthing for new ways to help clients and uncovering the best insurance solution for them. I’m not a fan of loose ends and live by the saying ‘if it takes less than two minutes, do it now.’ Many people are surprised to learn I am a cat person and have two cats named Otis and Penny. When not helping clients, I enjoy being outdoors, woodworking and listening to music from the 60s and 70s.

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