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Snow tire season is upon us

October 01, 2014 - 7:30 PM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Slushy sections hit the Connector for a brief time Tuesday afternoon and as of Wednesday morning winter tires are a requirement on most B.C. highways.

While winter does not officially start until late December snow can fall, especially on mountain passes, a lot earlier and as a result provincial regulations require winter tires for passenger vehicles from Oct. 1 through March 31 every year.

Tires marked with a mountain or snowflake symbol offer the best traction in winter conditions and while tires marked with M+S (mud and snow) are legally allowed and better than summer tires they are not as effective in severe winter conditions, which can quickly occur in mountain passes.

Aside from installing winter tires there are other things you should do to prepare your vehicle for the winter as well. The Ministry of Transportation recommends getting a maintenance check up to ensure your battery, brakes, lights, fuses, cooling and heating systems, electrical, exhaust systems and belts and hoses are all in top shape.

You should also change your wiper blades to ones that can handle the heavier snow and ice that tend to build up during the winter.

Before driving make sure all snow and ice has been cleared from your windows, lights, mirrors, hood and roof and let the windows defrost completely. Make sure your windshield washer reservoir is full and have extra fluid with you. Also keep your gas tank topped up to avoid condensation inside the tank which can lead to the fuel line freezing.

Also make sure your cell is charged and you have a car charger with you if possible.

Commercial vehicles are required to carry chains between Oct. 1 and March 31.

Recommended winter survival kit items should include:
Emergency kit containing non-perishable food, blankets and first aid supplies.
Windshield scraper and snow brush.
Extra windshield washer fluid.
Spare tire, wheel wrench and jack.
Shovel and traction mat, sand or kitty litter.
Fuel line antifreeze.
Flares and matches or lighter.
Tire chains and gloves.
Flashlight and extra batteries.
Battery jumper cables.
Extra clothing and footwear.
Sandbags for extra weight.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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