Best winter driving tips! Edmonton Alberta and Canada can be very harsh, extremely cold, and just nerve racking to drive in at times. Just the regular commute might be more challenging at times. Snow and ice, along with freezing cold temperatures, and reduced daylight driving times are some of the things that Canadians face every winter season. Being prepared for the winter season is the best way to keep safe and reduce any potential pitfalls of the winter driving season in Canada. Having a reliable and safe vehicle for number one, might be higher on the priority list than in spring, summer or fall seasons. With temperatures dipping below -40c, winter driving in Alberta can be hazardous, and you don’t want to get stranded or stuck on the road side. Being prepared and taking extra precautions are the best defense for a safe winter driving season in Canada. Here are some things you can do to stay safe and problem free this winter season. Thinking of upgrading your vehicle with the cold whether? Just click here and apply now to get started.
- Give yourself extra time. Leave early, and allow your self more time to get to your destination. Being in a rush to get to work or elsewhere is not good when trying to battle the elements of winter driving.
- Plan your route. Check local weather for road conditions and potential problems on your route. Sometimes taking an alternate route might be longer but less congested or problematic.
- Fill up on fuel. Keep fuel topped up to at least half a tank. Fuel lines can freeze up in extreme cold and keeping the fuel full or at least above half full will stop gas lines from freezing up and your vehicle not starting. Also if you are stranded on side of road, running the engine to stay warm may be crucial.
- Tire Check. Check tires for tread wear and any obvious defects or blemishes. Make sure you have a spare tire. Keep tire pressure gauge inside vehicle. If you have all season tires, check tire pressure. As the weather cools, the air in your tires compresses and the pressure in the tires becomes lower. Its important to keep the proper tire inflation to reduce wear and keep driving conditions safe.
- Battery Check. Have your vehicles battery checked for extreme cold. Having a good battery than can withstand cranking the engine for long periods of time might save you from getting a boost.
- Brake Check. The braking system is always important, but even more with winter driving. Give your self extra room to stop and its best to have lots of brake pad and make sure brakes are not spongey, need pumping or sink after you depress the pedal.
- Change oil. It is not required to change oil for winter, however if you live in an area where it is very cold, changing oil can make it much easier on your vehicles engine. 5W/30 is a typical winter engine oil. This weight oil moves more freely in sub freezing temperatures.
- Antifreeze coolant. Make sure you have the correct amount of antifreeze for the climate you are living in. The standard antifreeze is good to about -32 degrees which is good for most regions, but its best to check with local standards just to be safe.
- Plug vehicle in. Whether you have a block heater, coolant heater, battery blanket or other, its a good idea to plug your vehicle in when temperatures become sub freezing. Cold starts in subfreezing temperatures can wear out engine parts sooner, because the oil is thinker in freezing cold.
- Emergency Kit. There are a lot of things you can pack into an emergency road kit, depending on how far you are driving and road conditions might determine what to pack. Here are some items you might consider. Lock deicer, flat tire air in can, flashlight, road flare, blankets, spare tire and jack, spare fuses, cell phone battery pack, booster cables, small shovel and sand bag, emergency heat pads
- Avoid quick take offs. Stepping on the gas to aggressively can cause the vehicle tires to spin, causing loss of control, burning unnecessary fuel, and wearing out tires more quickly. A slow gradual start from a stand still will allow you to keep better control of the vehicle and cost less money in the long run.
- Avoid pumping brakes. Most vehicles have an ABS braking system that pumps the brakes for you. This allows the driver to maneuver the vehicle even under hard braking. Pumping the brakes may work on vehicles that do not have ABS, but these vehicles would be quite old.
- Avoid steep roadways. Be aware of steep roadways and avoid them if possible when weather is extremely cold and or slippery. Take an alternate route if possible. If not proceed with extra caution in extreme conditions.
- Do not recirculate air. Have you ever seen someone driving with the windows fogged up heavily on the inside of the car? Make sure you are not using the vehicles recirculating mode while heat is on during winter driving. Most newer cars have fixed this issue, so that the recirculating mode only works when cooling the car in summer months.
- Clean vehicle. Visibility is very important always, but even more so in the winter months. Clearing snow and ice from your vehicle, including the glass, body, and lighting systems not only allows you to see better, but also allows you to be seen better by others.
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