How to: Winterize your vehicle

Person getting their car ready for the winter in snowy weather


With winter comes colder climates, slippery road surfaces, and increased risk of collision. These changes in the environment make increased maintenance important leading up to and during the winter months.

Check out some tips below from one of our collaborators, the Canada Safety Council and Bridgestone Tires on how to get your vehicle winter-ready!

Tips to winterize your vehicle.

  • Keep your washer fluid topped up - Using a winter washer fluid and keeping the reserve filled is important to maintaining a clear windshield while you drive in winter conditions.
  • Get a winter service - This includes having your battery, cooling system and brakes checked. It also ensures that all seat belts, hoses, spark plugs, wires and cables are fit for winter and not at risk of breaking.
  • Install winter wipers - These wipers use rubber that prevents ice from collecting on them. This helps ensure your windshield is always as clear as possible. Be sure to remove your winter wipers in spring as they are heavier than regular wipers and cause extra load on the wiper motor.
  • Switch to winter tires - You can use all-season tires in winter conditions, but it is not optimal. Winter tires use a different rubber compound than all season tires. This compound keeps winter tires from hardening in temperatures below zero and maintains better traction than all season and summer tires in cold conditions. In some parts of Canada winter tires are legally required for winter driving.
  • Maintain proper tire pressure - Every time the temperature drops 10 degrees Celsius a tire loses 1 PSI of air pressure. A tire low on pressure is more susceptible to blowing out and has less traction.
  • Keep a winter specific emergency kit in your vehicle - This kit should include items like a pack of matches, first aid kit, flares, flashlight, non-perishable food, warm clothing and blankets, jumper cables, a bag of sand and a shovel. 
  • Keep a snow brush, ice scraper, and extra washer fluid in your vehicle at all times. 

"Driving in winter always poses a new set of challenges to even the most experienced drivers. Ensure that you're well prepared to face the elements, leave yourself plenty of time and space to get stopped and, if possible, avoid driving in poor visibility and bad weather conditions entirely" - Canada Safety Council

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