Getting stuck in a friend’s snow-covered driveway can be embarrassing, getting stuck on the side of a lonely highway is far more serious!”

Yes, winter weather has arrived early this year, but there are some clever new products available, designed to make life with an auto less stressful and safer in sub-zero temperatures.

Ranging in price from $9.99 to $159.99 these products could also be a great Christmas gift for just about anyone who drives.

Working with its suppliers, Canadian Tire has helped develop some new auto products that address winter driving problems. They’re as basic as scratch-proof snow and ice removal tool that’s easier on your car’s paintwork to a compact and light-weight emergency traction aid that could be a life-saver.

The Garant EVA Snowbrush has a bristle-free brush with a foam head that’s less abrasive on vehicle paintwork. It addresses the negative feedback from customers about conventional snowbrushes and it’s sold in two sizes. The 28-inch brush retails for $15.99 and the 36-inch brush retails for $19.99.

Getting stuck in a friend’s snow-covered driveway can be embarrassing, getting stuck on the side of a lonely highway is far more serious! The Trac Grabber Car Traction Aid ($39.99) is not a replacement for conventional chains, as it’s not intended for highway driving use. Easy to use and quick fitting, this traction aid is also far lighter and easier to store in a vehicle than tire chains. A truck version ($49.99) of the Trac Grabber Car Traction Aid is also available. Sold in pairs, a Trac Grabber is attached to each drive wheel, similar to a tire chain (but is much easier to use). It’s designed to supply provide enough traction to release a car (stuck in snow or mud) and get it back on the highway (where it should be removed).

Another good auto safety gift idea is the MotoMaster Eliminator Tripod Light ($29.99). This multi-function light has an articulating head with red LED emergency light and fold-put tripod legs that extend for additional stability when placed on the road to warn drivers that they are approaching a broken-down vehicle. It also features a powerful lithium-ion rechargeable battery.

Good vision when driving is very important in cold weather. If you have to park you’re vehicle outside overnight, the Subzero ArcticGuard Snow and Ice Windshield Cover ($9.99) is an inexpensive investment. A hook system secures it inside the car, however, users do complain about it flapping in strong winds. You may also consider upgrading your current headlights to SilverStar Ultra Lights ($59.99). They promise up to 50 percent brighter light with up to 40 percent more down-road illumination than standard halogen lights. New wiper blades can also make a big improvement in driver vision and a set of Bosch Icon Wipers cost from $24.99 to $25.99. This premium dual-rubber synthetic product claims to last 40 per cent longer than other blades.

If you have a fear of running out of fuel, or a friend who does it regularly or you simply want a peace-of-mind back-up supply of gas for a long driving trip, Spare Fuel ($19.99) is a non-flammable gasoline derivative that is safe to store in the trunk. It’s safe to use in all engines that use unleaded gasoline, comes with filler tube and it can be stored in your vehicle all-year-round.

The most common winter auto emergency is a dead battery. Yes, you could carry a set of jumper cables and hope that you can get a boost from another vehicle, but that’s not always easy or possible. Another solution is the Noco Genius Mini Booster, GB30 ($159.99). It may seem a little pricey, but this compact yet surprisingly powerful lithium-ion jump starter pack is mistake-proof and multi-functional. Offering 400 peak amps it can provide up to seven jump-starts on a single charge. It’s also a seven-mode LED flashlight and it can be used as a portable recharge (USB) dock for other electronic devices.

Contact: bob [dot] mchugh [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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