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Is your car ready for Winter?

Is your car ready for Winter?Canada is a four-season country. And that means that while you might enjoy cruising the summer streets in your top-down convertible, when the cold winds blow you’ll need a car that does more than look good out there. Winter demands a special kind of attention to your on-road activities. Whether you’re driving a sedan or a hotrod, a minivan or a convertible, these five tips will keep you safe on the road:

  1. Switch your Tires: While four season radials have some extra grip, winter tires are specifically designed for optimal performance on ice and snow and in lower temperatures. Similarly, you’ll want to mark your calendar with a day to take them off in the spring. Winter tires aren’t meant to be driven on the warmer roads and you’ll get more use out of them, and more bang for your buck, if you use them for winter-only.
  2. Consider taking a “Winter Driving” course: It can be tough to admit, but living in this country does not automatically equip you for driving in its winters. There are very specific skills (proper turning, safe braking and more) that deserve a brush up before you head out onto black ice filled roads. Check your local city offerings for programs that offer specific winter driving technique classes that can help. Learning exactly how your car behaves in winter weather is key to safe driving and will increase your confidence on the roads.
  3. Put an Emergency Kit in the back: There’s no fun in finding yourself on the side of the road with a blown tire or dead battery. Are you prepared for a winter car emergency? Keep a kit in the backseat or trunk with items that can help if you’re stuck for longer than you anticipated. A blanket, extra clothing, water and snacks are all helpful. Another tip? Have the numbers you may need on hand so that you can get help via your car’s roadside assistance program, tow truck or police if you need it.
  4. Rethink your Insurance: While you’re prepping the car for winter, it’s a great time to stop and consider whether all of your paperwork is up to date. Do you have the latest insurance cards in your glove compartment? Have your insurance needs changed? Check in with your PC® Insurance broker to make sure you’ve got the right package to fit your and your family’s needs going forward.
  5. Clean out your trunk: Seriously. Do it now. Murphy’s law says that if you wait, the worst snowstorm of the century will occur on the very Saturday you plan to do it. Don’t risk it. Instead, take the time now to take out the roller blades and soccer balls you’ve been carrying around since the spring and make sure your snowbrushes, jumper cables and spare tires are ready for use. Replace anything showing too many signs of winters past. It’s also a good time to replace wiper blades and make sure you’ve got at least one extra jug of washer fluid in the back. Remember what they say: An ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure.

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