Tackling your first winter of driving in CanadaBy Kijiji Autos
To say Canada has some pretty drastic weather changes over one calendar year is an understatement. Summer driving here is much like the rest of the world, but our winters are a whole different experience. If the upcoming winter driving season is your first, here are some tips on how to make the most of it, from safely driving on snow to picking out a ski rack.
Driving on the snow
There’s a reason investing in a good set of winter tires is our first recommendation in the Kijiji Autos winter driving essentials list. Winter tires offer more grip on the white stuff than all-seasons and excel at lower temperatures. In Quebec, they’re even required by law during the colder portions of the year.
When you’re driving on snow, avoid making any sudden inputs to the wheel or pedals. Sharp throttle use can cause the wheels to spin, even with cars with traction control. Sudden braking can also lead to sliding. This is especially true on downhill sections: Start braking early and gradually. If your car has a gear-select ability, use a lower gear to increase the engine braking, as well.
Remember that braking distances are increased in snowy weather, so leave extra space from the car ahead, especially on the highway.
If your car has an anti-lock brake system (ABS), don’t “”pump the brakes”” in the instance of a skid. Apply solid, consistent pedal pressure and let the system determine maxing braking for you. Avoid using cruise control, too. If your car hydroplanes—when the steering becomes unresponsive due to water or snow—the cruise control system will try to accelerate instead of slow down!
Tire chains and studded tires provide even more grip in extreme winter weather. Most provinces and territories allow them, with some, such as British Columbia, requiring chains on commercial vehicles for part of the year. The exception is Ontario: Southern Ontario completely bans studs and chains (barring visitors from out of area). Northern Ontario does allow for studded tires, however.
Check your province or territory’s transportation laws to determine whether you should invest in chains or studded tires. Be sure to check things like stud count, and remember to swap them before the final day they’re allowed.
Picking a roof rack
One of the joys of winter in Canada is skiing and snowboarding! Roof rails open up the option to carry a dedicated rooftop rack for your gear.
Not all cars have roof rails, but there are aftermarket magnetic or suction-style options available to add them. These temporary solutions have the advantage of only going on when you need them; roof racks can negatively impact fuel economy, especially when they’re loaded up!
You can find ski racks at most car part retailers, in all shapes, sizes and price points. If your car doesn’t have roof racks, there are magnetic ski racks available. Note that not all cars will accept a magnetic option, though: If the roof is aluminum or has a large panoramic sunroof, it won’t be able to attach.
Looking for that first car to tackle the Canadian winter? Browse the selection of thousands of cars at Kijiji Autos.
Easily find your next ride on Kijiji AutosSearch now
10 tips to help make the road a better and happier place
We have all, at some point, been responsible for making the roadways stressful in one way or another. Alternatively, we are all equally capable of making the road a happier place. Let’s explore 10 unique ways we can help make the driving experience better again, for everyone's sake.
10 great road trips in Canada
Living in one of the biggest countries in the world, it's pretty common to hear the open road calling. From the Rocky Mountains to the Gentle Island, the Great Lakes to the Badlands, grab your favourite gas station snacks, press play on your driving playlist and hit the road.
10 eco-driving tips that can help you save money and reduce your carbon footprint
With rising gas prices, carbon taxes on fuel and concerns about climate change, many Canadians are wondering how to save gas when driving. Experts recommend adopting eco-driving techniques that can help you save money and fuel. Read on to discover 10 of them:
Tips to budget for car maintenance costs
Vehicle ownership requires more than the ability to operate a car; it requires a keen sense of budgeting and maintenance. Kijiji Autos helps you understand and prepare for the average cost of car maintenance to keep you ahead on the finances and your car driving on the road.
What to consider if you have noisy brakes
One of the most common signs that a vehicle requires an inspection is squeaky brakes or excessive noise when braking. If you notice your vehicle’s brakes squealing, the problems can range from minor to significant issues.
Canada’s happiest cities to drive in
New data reveals the best cities to drive in and which residents are the happiest on the roads.
Common ways to clean leather car seats
Dirty and damaged seats can really impact the value of your vehicle. On the other hand, a well-maintained leather interior can keep your car looking fresh for many years.
Common ways to remove scratches from car paint
So, you discovered a scratch on your car. Now what? Here are some tips on identifying scratches, picking and using a car scratch remover for your needs and when to leave it to the experts.
Premium vs. regular gas: Common considerations
Maybe you wondered if premium gas is necessary or worth the extra money. Learn which could be t best for your vehicle below.
Electric car maintenance and cost: everything you need to know
You might be wondering just how much it costs to own an electric vehicle. Here are some answers to common questions about maintaining, charging and owning an electric car.