As winter arrives, it’s essential to prepare your car for the challenges that colder weather can bring. From icy roads to unexpected snowstorms, having the right items in your car can make all the difference in ensuring a safe and comfortable journey. Here’s a comprehensive list of what you should keep in your car during the winter months.
A well-stocked emergency kit is a must. Include items like a first aid kit, flashlight, batteries, blankets, and non-perishable snacks. In case you get stuck in the snow, having these essentials can provide comfort and safety while waiting for help.
Snow Shovel and Ice Scraper
A compact snow shovel can be a lifesaver if you need to dig your car out of a snowbank. An ice scraper will help you clear frost and ice from your windshield, ensuring visibility.
Keep items like sand or cat litter in your trunk to sprinkle under your tires if you get stuck. Traction mats are also handy for providing grip in slippery conditions. If you find your tires are spinning and you aren’t moving, sprinkle some litter or sand in front of your tires and on your tires themselves. This will help your tires grip once they turn.
Pack extra layers such as gloves, hats, scarves, and a warm jacket. If you’re stranded, these items can help you stay warm until assistance arrives.
Blankets and Sleeping Bag
In case of a prolonged wait or if your car breaks down, having blankets and a sleeping bag can provide crucial warmth.
Battery Jumper Cables
Cold weather can be harsh on car batteries. Jumper cables can be a lifesaver if your battery decides to act up on a frigid morning.
Ensure your car has sufficient antifreeze, windshield washer fluid, and oil. Cold temperatures can cause fluids to thicken, so having the right levels is crucial for smooth operation.
Consider investing in winter tires for better traction on snow and ice. They can significantly enhance your car’s performance in winter conditions. All season tires will do the trick in most situations, but the difference in traction between all seasons and snow tires during a severe weather event (which Ontario sees a lot of), is undeniable.
Cell Phone Charger
Keep a car charger for your phone to ensure you can stay connected in case of an emergency. Cold temperatures can deplete battery life quickly.
Portable Heater or Hand Warmers
While waiting for assistance or in case your car’s heating fails, a portable heater or hand warmers can provide much-needed warmth.
Windshield Washer Fluid with De-icer
Winter roads can get messy with salt and slush. Ensure your windshield washer fluid has a de-icing component to maintain clear visibility.
Reflective Triangles or Flares
In case of a breakdown, these items can alert other drivers to your presence, reducing the risk of accidents.
Carry a Fully Charged Power Bank
If you find yourself without access to your car’s power, a fully charged power bank can be a valuable backup for charging essential devices.
Pack non-perishable snacks like granola bars, nuts, or dried fruit. Having some food on hand can keep your energy up during unexpected delays.
Check Your Spare Tire
Ensure your spare tire is in good condition, and you have all the necessary tools to change a flat tire.
By keeping these winter essentials in your car, you’ll be better equipped to handle whatever challenges the colder months may throw your way. Prioritize safety, plan ahead, and enjoy worry-free winter travels.
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