The holidays are finally upon us — it’s time to dig out those snowboards, skis, boots and everything else that is associated with the season (especially if you participated in our Grouse Mountain promo!) But is your vehicle equipped to haul all that gear or get up the steep and snowy road? Luckily the factory accessory catalogues from auto manufacturers are quite extensive and include everything you need to winterize your ride and give it a little style at the same time. We’ve compiled a top five wish list for you below.
There are few items more useful for carrying stuff than a proper roof rack system for your car, van or SUV. Installing an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) rack is always a better option than a clunky add-on from an aftermarket company. First, you need a rail kit that provides the foundation for a rack to attach to if you don’t already have one, like this one for the RAV4. It attaches to the indents already in the roof for a perfect fit.
All-weather cargo tray
Anyone who’s thrown wet clothes or sporting equipment in the trunk or hatch knows how much of a mess it can make. Invest in an all-weather cargo tray that is designed to fit perfectly in the back of whatever you drive that can trap snow, ice or anything else that eventually ends up in liquid form. Hyundai, for instance, carries two different kinds for their Santa Fe.
Paint protection film
It can be heart breaking to subject your brand new, or new-to-you, automobile to the reality of slush, dirt and salt-covered streets. You can mitigate the damage to your vehicle’s finish with paint protection film. If you own a Scion FR-S, you can get it straight from participating dealers — the almost-invisible urethane film is made by 3M and is installed on the hood and front fenders, guarding the panels from road debris and general weathering.
B.C. may not regularly get as much of the white stuff falling as, say, Toronto, but the usefulness of winter tires cannot be overstressed. Even if there’s no snow on the ground, cold temperatures can dramatically impact the way tires perform. Not something you want when you’re going up the side of a mountain. Many dealers will carry the specific size you need, such as Honda that carries over 10 different brands.
If you’ve got a sports car that hibernates over the winter while a more practical transport gets you around, you’ll want to make sure your summer set of wheels is protected well against the elements. Especially a must if you keep your car outside, pick up a fitted car cover that repels a variety of harsh weather conditions. Porsche makes both an outdoor version and an indoor one for people with an empty garage space.