October 31, 2016

Winter Vehicle Preparation and Maintenance

The winter months are fast approaching and snow will be drifting through the air faster than you would like. The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) and the Automotive Industries Association (AIA) of Canada has compiled a list of recommendations to follow to prepare for winter driving conditions.

1)      Let others know your itinerary before you go out on the road.

  • If something were to happen, like a sudden snowstorm, the people you are meeting or leaving from will know the route you were taking and will be able to help you if it’s needed.

2)      Consider putting winter tires on your vehicle.

  • Regardless of the amount of snow your area accumulates, rubber on tires change with the season. All-season tires start to lose elasticity and harden at around 7°C, which can significantly reduce the tire’s ability to grip to road. Winter tires harden at around -40°C, which allows the tire to maintain grip to the road in colder temperatures.

3)      Carry a fully charged cell phone.

  • If you are on the side of the road and need assistance, you can call a friend or roadside assistance to help. If your battery is dead in your vehicle and your phone is dead, you will not be able to charge it to make the phone call.

4)      Take your vehicle into your local service technician.

  • By taking your vehicle into your local service technician, they can help have your vehicle maintained for the seasonal transition. They will be able to inspect your battery for wear and make sure you have the right grade of oil in your vehicle for optimal winter use.


CAA also recommends that you have a winter driving kit in your vehicle. The items found in a winter driving kit are as follows:

  • Warm winter gloves, toque and boots
  • Blanket or extra clothing
  • Bag of sand or kitty litter
  • Small shovel
  • Ice scraper and/or snow brush
  • Snacks for energy
  • Extra windshield washer fluid
  • First aid kit
  • Hardcopy local map (as stated before: if you have a dead phone, you’ll be unable to access any maps online.)
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Flares
  • Waterproof matches
  • Battery jumper cables


Don’t forget, if you have winter tires on your vehicle, contact your account manager at McFarlan Rowlands for a possible winter tire discount on your auto insurance.