Photo cred - anjoudiscus
Driving is no longer fun once winter hits. Fall's beauty is gone, the easy breezy cruising of summer is long gone, and the respite of spring is a long way off, leaving you on an icy road with snow flying at your face anytime you hop into your car. Add the hazards of the season to the regularly crazy driving of Montreal and its notoriously aggressive drivers, and you have a winter driving situation that you better be prepared for, and we're far from experts, so we got some professional help.
For 37 years, Morty's Driving School has been teaching Montrealers the rules of the road and ensuring that all citizens are fully prepared to handle driving in any season. Morty's driving courses are all taught by experienced driving instructors, who will teach you everything you need to know about the road, from complex SAAQ regulations to simple driving etiquette.
We asked Morty's Driving School's experts what all Montrealers should do before hitting the roads during winter, and they came back to us with the following recommendations. Read on, and keep in mind this is just a sample of all the info you should know about winter driving, so make sure you look into Morty's offered driving courses so you're fully prepared.
1. You NEED Snow Tires, Legally
Everyone on the road is required to have snow tires from December 15th to March 15th. The roads may not be too bad yet, but it never hurts to be prepared, and besides, the law says you gotta.
2. Check For Special Winter Tire Symbols
To ensure that your winter tires have been fully tested for the worst driving conditions winter can throw at you, make sure they're marked with a snowflake or a mountain peak.
3. Being Winter-Ready Goes Beyond Tires Too
Special tires aren't the only thing to switch on your car. Make sure you also have winter windshield wipers equipped on your ride and an extra container of windshield washer fluid in your trunk, just in case.
4. Have Booster Cables At The Ready
No one should ever be helpless at the side of the road, praying someone drives by with booster cables to jump their car, especially during winter. You never know if your car may give out for some random reason, so be prepared with some booster cables in your car.
5. Pack A Shovel In Your Trunk
Another "just in case" type of thing, because you never know when a pile of snow may come down and trap your car, or a giant snowbank blocks your path. A shovel may be your shining beacon of hope in such grim and snowy situations, so you mine as well keep one in your trunk.
6. Check Your Exhaust System For Leaks
You never want your car's exhaust system to spring a leak, but during the winter, the situation is even more dangerous, as the escaping carbon monoxide will be trapped in your car when you have the windows done up tight to block out the cold weather.
7. Check Your Braking System
Easily a car's most important safety feature, your braking system is used quite literally every time you drive your car. Winter will make the road icy, so be certain your brakes can comply.
8. Lock Your De-Icer
So it's ready when you need it, and you will need it.
9. Keep A Brush In Your Trunk Too
No, not for your hair, though I hope to Odin none of you thought I was referring to one of those kinds of brushes. Nobody needs snow from your roof getting all up in your view of the road, or be left with an icy windshield without a scraper, both situations which will be remedied by having a brush in your car, and not only in your garage.
10. Get Your Fuel & Electrical System Checked
A suitable suggestion no matter the time of year, though the changing weather may mess with your systems so do make sure they're working at peak performance.
11. Have Your Engine Tuned Up
Make sure you do this before the really cold weather sets in, as winter's frigid temperatures will worsen any existing engine-performance problems your car may have.
12. If You're Travelling, Get A Full Check Up
Just like how you may need to get the proper shots to travel to a foreign nation, so should your car take a trip to the doctor/mechanic if your planning a lengthy road trip.