- Helping you drive happy

Cold Waves Coming: Tips for Drivers

The New Year will be bringing with it some intense cold in most parts of the country, according to weather predictions. In Quebec, temperatures this weekend could drop as low as -30 C degrees - and climb back to near-freezing within hours. This can be the stuff of nightmares for motorists.

The specialists at Lebeau Vitres d’Autos offer up some essential driving and safety tips for drivers during the coming cold snap:

Starting up. While it’s no longer necessary with newer vehicles to idle the engine to warm it up, it’s best to start out slowly and keep a moderate pace. Keep the gas tank filled up as much as possible, and if possible use synthetic engine oil.

Battery. Check yours for corrosion and for any possible loosening of the cables to ensure it has all the power needed to start your engine even when the mercury drops. Make sure to turn off all ancillary systems (radio, navigation, heating) in the car before starting the engine.

Windshield. Never neglect to have your windshield repaired when it is damaged in any way. When temperatures swing wildly, even a small chip or crack can quickly turn into a major expense if you need to have your windshield completely replaced.

Visibility. Make sure to take a few extra minutes to clean all the snow off your car, including the side windows and rear-view mirrors. A remote starter will make the job easier and faster, and a special water-repellant treatment applied to the windows will help keep ice from accumulating on them.

Gear. Always keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. It should include a flashlight, glow sticks, an instant tire repair kit (sealant), bungee cords, booster cables and a first-aid kit. Keeping extra wiper fluid, a shovel , some non-perishable food, a phone recharger and a blanket in the trunk will also help ensure you’re ready for any emergency situation this winter!