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The snow has started falling, and you’ve not only put on your winter tires, but you’ve topped up your winter windshield washer fluid as well. Feels good, doesn’t it? You and your vehicle are ready for the conditions that may be thrown your way at any given moment, during this long, cold season. Or are you?

Covering the basics is important, but actually being prepared for a driving disaster in the winter consists of much more than external accessories or filling up on one fluid.

Take this trusty checklist and make sure you’ve got your vehicle stocked with the ultimate safety survival kit, whether you often travel long distances or just tend to head down the street. Better safe than sorry!

Remember: If you’re unsure about any of the following items or just want to be extra-prepared, visit your local Jiffy Lube and we can ensure car is well-equipped for winter.

What To Keep In The Car *

  • Extra, Dry Clothing – A spare sweatshirt, a hat, mitts, and even a pair of sturdy boots.
  • Blanket – Opt for a fleecy or wooly one to lock in the most warmth.
  • Water – It’s super important to make sure you pack bottles that won’t break when they freeze. Replace this stock every 6 months.
  • Road Map – You never know when your GPS could fail you and you’re stuck to find your way out of a detour or dark area.
  • Whistle – Get the attention of passersby with this trusty tool.
  • Candle In A Can – Tuck a candle into a deep can so that you don’t risk having the flame catch on anything within your vehicle.
  • Lighter/Matches  – Your candle is nothing without the fueling flame!
  • Hand/Foot Warmers – These portable packets will be miracle-workers when you’re forced to do any emergency external work on your car in the cold.
  • Standard First Aid Kit – This kit within your kit will be for medical emergencies and should contain all of the contents the Canadian Red Cross suggests.
  • Wind-up Flashlight – Don’t bank on a battery-operated accessory to last during dire situations.
  • Reflective Vest/Hazards – There’s no such thing as standing out too much when you’re stranded in the snow!
  • Emergency Plan – Write it down, type it out, stash it somewhere in your vehicle. When you find yourself in a stressful and unpredictable situation, it’s so easy to forget the basic and become overwhelmed when trying to recall best next steps.
  • Scissors – Even a small Swiss Army knife will do, as long you know the tool you pack is sharp and strong enough to slice a seatbelt if need be. Keep these in the glovebox or centre console so they’re within reach!
  • Scraper/Snowbrush – This is a winter car staple, but many are left looking for it after they use it in their driveway and leave it at home. Always make sure you take it with you as you go!

What To Keep In The Trunk *

  • Shovel – This one is fairly obvious. If you’re stuck in a snow bank, this back up shovel will be your best friend and can also be used to keep snow from piling up over your exhaust pipe.
  • Road Flares – The whistle may not always do the trick of grabbing attention on the road, but flares will get you noticed from miles away.
  • Jumper Cables – This is another year-round essential but it’s especially important in the cold when many cars conk out due to extreme temperatures.
  • Fire Extinguisher – This could come in handy in the off chance that candle in your emergency kit does catch onto something, or if your vehicle surprises you with unexpected flames. In the event of a large fire, it’s much safer though to get a safe distance away from your car and call for help.
  • Winter Windshield Washer Fluid – Always, always, always, overstock this item. Extra all-season washer fluid is good to have on hand for when it gets warmer as well. Don’t be left high and, literally, dry!
  • Sand/Salt – Get some traction in slippery spots you can’t get out of, or even sprinkle it around your car if you’re walking to and from it. The added weight of a salt/sand bag in the trunk also helps if you have a rear-wheel-drive vehicle.

* Keep all of these items in secured crates (one in your car and one in your trunk) so that you don’t have to search your whole vehicle for a life-saving item in a time of need. 

Got all the goods now? While there are some items you may feel you need more than others, it’s impossible to predict the unique situation you could end up in and it’s best to bring it all!

Pass this list on to those you care about; it could save a life this season.

Drive into the Jiffy Lube location nearest you for added assistance when it comes to being wise and winterizing your vehicle and stay tuned for more cold-weather topics and tricks within our blog!

Have yourself a safe and happy winter season!