Final pre-winter sprint!
Early snowfalls this year have prompted Quebecers to install their snow tires far sooner than the December 15 deadline, but that does not mean their cars are totally ready to handle our infamous winter season. Drivers need to properly equip their vehicles in order to be prepared to deal with potential problems or accidents. In short, there are the essentials that should remain in the car at all times, and a box full of accessories to be left at home, ready to be loaded should the need arise.
Snow brush: seems obvious, but worth investing in a solid brush.
Jumper cables: in case the battery dies on a freezing cold morning, or somebody left their lights on!
Shovel: collapsible, plastic or aluminum, this tool is definitely a must.
Windshield washer liquid: always useful to have an extra container for those slushy days
Traction aids or traction cable: on an icy surface or when stuck in snow.
Flashlight: the type that plugs into a 12-volt socket.
Reflective triangle: to be installed 50 metres from your vehicle in case of a breakdown.
Clothing: extra tuque and scarf, as well as work gloves, handy for changing a tire.
Thermal blanket: some aluminum-type models are very light and effective.
Tire sealant: to repair punctures.
Small compressor: plugs into a 12-volt socket. Some models are also equipped with a light.
Small first-aid kit: practical for treating minor burns or cuts.
Candle and matches: provide heat and light during an extended wait.
Rope, elastic cord: to temporarily secure a loose part.
The list may seem long, but all these accessories should fit in a small sports bag. In any case, the important thing is to assess the risks based on the length of the planned trip, the type of road and the short-term weather forecast. Take some time to check what you already have in your home and, during your next seasonal maintenance or winter tire installation visit at a nearby NAPA AUTOPRO service centre, you can complete your winter readiness kit.
Why not take advantage of the Holiday Season to offer such accessories or kits as a gift to a young driver or poorly-equipped friend? He or she will be thankful when the time comes to drive out of a snow bank or repair a flat tire. On this note, please accept our best Holiday and safe-driving wishes!