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The 10 winter driving essentials that must be in your car kit

By Kijiji Autos
The 10 winter driving essentials that must be in your winter car kit

Although winter climates in Canada vary greatly depending on where you live, every driver must prepare for the worst. Your own winter emergency car kit should be ready to tackle any obstacle you may encounter on the road.

Here are 10 winter driving essentials that must be in your winter car kit:

1. Scraper

A cold-weather classic. The presence of a quality ice scraper will make a world of difference for any driver who finds themselves in the middle of winter. This tool will allow you to efficiently remove ice from the front, side and rear windshields as well as the rearview mirrors.

2. Folding shovel

The folding shovel is your best tool for fighting back against surprise snowfalls—that’s why every winter car kit should include one. This useful tool is perfect for shoveling away snow that might lock your vehicle’s wheels so that you can get back to driving quickly.

3. Universal antifreeze

To help regulate your car’s engine during extreme weather conditions, a jug of high-efficiency antifreeze will save the day. Despite its name, coolant levels should be checked at least twice a year—before the summer heat and before the winter cold.

4. De-icing fluid

If you want to keep your windshield clean and streak-free after you’ve scraped it clear of ice, it’s important that you have a fresh supply of de-icing windshield washer fluid in your winter car kit. Specialized de-icing fluids are formulated with chemicals that reduce the build-up of frost, ice and snow in freezing weather.

5. First aid kit

Although it is always encouraged to have a first aid kit on hand while driving, it can become life-saving during treacherous winter conditions. A complete car first aid kit should contain the following: patches for treating small wounds, bandages, gauze for treating larger wounds, an isothermal blanket, a seat belt cutter, wet handkerchiefs and, finally, disposable gloves.

6. Gloves, a tuque, an extra set of clothing and blankets

Although this may seem obvious, many people forget the importance of having extra clothing to bundle with if your car breaks down. Your own clothes might get wet or damaged while attempting a DIY repair, so make sure you have an extra set just in case. A woollen blanket, pair of durable gloves, and a tuque will keep you especially cozy in sub-zero temperatures.

7. Road flares or warning lights

Also key to have stowed in your winter car kit is a set of road flares or warning lights. If your car breaks down and you’re stranded on the side of the road, it’s crucial that you’re visible to other drivers. Road flares and warning lights can help prevent collisions and also alert others to your situation.

8. Sand, salt or other traction aid

If your car is stuck in the snow or ice, a healthy dose of sand, salt, or even kitty litter can help your wheels find traction.

9. Flashlight

If you start to experience issues with your car during the middle of the night, a reliable flashlight can help you save the day. It’ll help you check your vehicle for issues while also making your presence known to other drivers.

10. Tire repair kit

Finally, every driver should consider having a tire repair kit in their vehicle all-year-round to deal with emergencies, not just for winter driving. Many of today’s cars don’t come with a spare tire, and when you puncture a wheel it’s important to fix the problem immediately. Car tire repair kits include a sealant so that you can cover the hole as well as a compressor to re-inflate the tire.


It’s great if you’re all geared up for winter, but it’s also important that your vehicle is safe enough to withstand the ice and snow. If it’s time for an upgrade, browse our selection of new and used vehicles to find your next ride—and before the snow falls, so you’re sure to have a safe winter ahead on the road.

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