Make sure your brakes are equalised so there is no pulling to one side. If the brakes on a car are uneven, it may be more likely to skid on icy roads.
If it hasn't been done in a few years, have your cooling system flushed out with a good chemical cleaner and put in fresh anti-freeze. Check containers, belts, hoses, the pressure caps and thermostat.
Battery and electrical system
Cold weather is hard on batteries. If your battery is several years old, have it checked. Be sure that the connections are clean and tight and there is no corrosion around the connectors.
A diagnostic check-up of the engine can be a good pre-winter investment. If you're due for a tune-up, have it done before winter sets in. Faulty wiring, worn spark plugs, a sticking choke or emission control devices that need attention, can all cause problems when starting your car.
Check the muffler and tail pipe system for carbon monoxide leaks. This is particularly important in the winter when the windows of a car are usually closed.
Heaters, defrosters and wipers
Have your car's windshield, heaters, defrosters and wipers checked to make sure they are fully operational. Install winter wiper blades and use cold weather washer fluid. Ensure your windshield can give you clear vision of the road and traffic around you.
Oil and filter
Dirty oil can give you trouble in the winter, so change the oil and filter before the cold weather sets in. Other filters need attention too - fuel, air and transmission all need attention.
Snow tires increase traction in soft snow. Make sure to install them on all four wheels, as it will mean greater control of your vehicle when accelerating and braking. In fact, if you are a resident of Quebec, you must have snow tires on all four wheels. And don't forget to check your tire pressure regularly.
Checklist created with information from the Canada Safety Council.