Winter is Coming. Is Your Vehicle You Ready?

winter driving

Winter might be mild in many parts of British Columbia, but that doesn’t mean driving is a breeze. According to an ICBC survey, almost 4 in 10 respondents feel less confident driving during the winter. What’s more, 7 in 10 feel less safe and more frustrated by the actions of other drivers.

Staying off the road is the safest (and least stressful!) option, but that’s not a reality for most drivers. So, what you can do instead is reduce your speed, keep your distance, and make sure your car is prepared for the wet, wild, and chilly weather.

Winter tires

Winter tires aren’t technically mandatory in BC, but the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure can designate them to be required on certain roads and highways, including the Malahat, from October 1 to March 31. If you go beyond the signs and are caught driving on these roads without winter tires, police can ticket you and make you turn back.

Pesky fines aside, winter tires are a safer option for driving in the winter, even here in Victoria. Our temperatures regularly dip near freezing and all season tires harden up and lose traction at temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius. And while driving without winter tires will not void your insurance (remember, they’re not mandatory), they can affect how much you’re at fault.


Your car’s antifreeze, also known as coolant, is the colourful juice that goes in your radiator. It’s an essential part of your car’s winter protection, and without the right mix of water and antifreeze, your engine may freeze, overheat, or even corrode. Make sure your car contains a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze and check that the level is full.

(And don’t forget that your car’s heater won’t generate heat if the coolant level is low. Brrrr!)

If you’re unsure of your antifreeze level or strength, don’t hesitate to bring your car in to Searle’s. We can make sure you have the right type and strength of coolant for your vehicle, and will make sure your cooling system components are functioning optimally.


When it comes to preparing your car for winter driving, nothing is more important than a brake inspection. Nothing. Your brakes are your #1 defense against wet, slushy and icy roads, and also against other drivers. (Let’s face it, winter driving isn’t for everyone…)

Our experienced mechanics will ensure your brakes are in top shape so you and your loved ones can drive safely this winter.


Most of your driving decisions are based on what you see. So if your windshield is grimy and full of streaks, or if your headlights are dim and dirty, your vision will be significantly impaired.

You should replace your windshield wipers at least once a year, or whenever they begin to streak or chatter. And, you should regularly wipe down your headlights (a good time to do this is when you’re gassing up) and check for dim or burned out bulbs. Replace them immediately!

If you’d like to book an appointment for any of these services, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our experienced mechanics will have your car up and winter ready in no time.


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