Get your car winter-ready with the top driving tips of the season

Kate Mendonca
Shopping Editor
The winter road is reflected in the car's rear-view mirror

Yahoo Lifestyle Canada is committed to finding you the best products at the best prices. We may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.

There’s no denying it - winter is here. 

As Canadians, we’re used to the cold and snow, but it still somehow manages to feel like a shock every time that first storm arrives.  

Winter driving can be especially tricky, but with a little preparation you can make sure that your car is ready to take on the elements all season long. Ahead, find a checklist for the must-haves that every driver needs to stay safe this winter. 

Closeup of car tires in winter. the first snow in late autumn.

Start with the tires

Once the temperature hits 7°C you should be making the switch to winter tires, especially if you live in an area with plenty of snowfall. Made from special rubber compounds that allows them to stay flexible and grip the snow and ice, winter tires are a solid investment for any driver. 

Once they’re on, don’t forget to check tires (including the spare!) for air pressure frequently. Changes in temperature can cause air to contract, leading to low tire pressure and less control while you’re on the roads. 

Be prepared for anything

While it’s no surprise that an emergency kit is a driving must-have, according to CAA only 50% of Canadians actually have a winter driving kit in their vehicle. To stay prepared in the face of an unexpected event, be sure to keep blankets, flashlights and jumper cables in the car, along with non-perishable food items and water bottles in case of emergencies.

Man holding fuel nozzle, filling gas tank of car covered with snow in winter

Check your fluids

When it comes to your fluids in your car, ensure that everything is kept well stocked for the duration of the season. As well as providing protection from the cold in the event of an accident, keeping levels above the halfway mark prevents condensation that can form inside gas tanks, which leads to freezing.

Be sure to also check that your coolant, also known as antifreeze, levels aren’t low, and that your oil is winter-ready. 

Start each trip safely

Before hitting the road, remove any ice and snow that’s accumulated on the car or else face fines for dangerous driving. In Ontario for example, the Highway Traffic Amendment Act states that no person shall drive a vehicle “in a manner that would pose a danger to [others] on the highway if the snow or ice were to fall or slide off,” or else risk paying anywhere from $50 to $500 for the offence. 

You’ll also want to start the car early before heading out, but not for as long as you may think. The common myth about “warming up the engine” before driving doesn’t actually require much time, since once you start driving it naturally starts to heat up quicker. 

Shop our top picks for winter driving below, and stay safe all season long. 

Premium Auto Safety Kit

Image via Canadian Tire.

SHOP IT: Canadian Tire, $75

Coghlan's 8235 Emergency Blanket

Image via Amazon.

SHOP IT: Amazon, $9

SubZero 50" Polar Vortex Crossover Snowbroom

Image via Walmart.

SHOP IT: Walmart, $20

TACKLIFE Car Jump Starter

Image via Amazon.

SHOP IT: Amazon, $79 (originally $89)

Prestone Premixed Dex-Cool Quick Fill Anti-Freeze/Coolant

Image via Canadian Tire.

SHOP IT: Canadian Tire, $19

AstroAI Digital Tire Inflator with Pressure Gauge

Image via Amazon.

SHOP IT: Amazon, $40 (originally $47)

Let us know what you think by commenting below and tweeting @YahooStyleCA! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram.