Chapter 9: Vehicle Equipment and Fuel Efficiency

In this chapter

    The following equipment must be in safe working condition:


    Brakes must be able to stop passenger vehicles travelling at 30 km/h within 7.6 metres. Other motor vehicles, such as trucks and vans under 4,540 kg, must be able to stop within nine metres. All brakes should be periodically checked and, if necessary, adjusted.


    All motor vehicles, except motorcycles, must have:

    • two to four headlights, including a high beam and low beam on each side, in good working order (Vehicles must also have a high-beam indicator light. When operating your vehicle, headlights must be switched on a half hour before sunset until a half hour after sunrise and when visibility is reduced to 60 metres. A recommended safe driving practice is to drive with headlights on all the time.)
    • functional daytime running lights, if manufactured on or after Dec. 1, 1989 (For motorcycles and mopeds, model year 1975 or later, a headlamp must be on at all times when being operated.)
    • turn signals — amber or white lights at the front, red or amber lights at the rear (Motorcycles of the model or make of the year 1974 or earlier and mopeds are not required to be equipped with signal lights. Trailers require signal lights on the rear only.)
    • at least two rear red lights or, for vehicles dated 1967 or earlier, at least one rear red light
    • one functional centre high-mounted stop light, in addition to the regular stop lights, if it’s a passenger car manufactured after 1986
    • one white light for the rear number plate
    • at least one red light on the rear plus a stop light, if a trailer is attached (Towed vehicles with a width exceeding 2.05 metres, except passenger cars, must have clearance lights and reflectors at the front and rear.)
    • a red flag clearly visible at the end of a load during daylight and a red light or reflector at the end of a load at night, if the load extends one metre or more past the rear of the vehicle


    To maximize the safety and life of your tires:

    • Use tires of the same construction and size. Your owner’s manual should inform you which is best for your vehicle.
    • Using an accurate tire pressure gauge, check the air pressure of your tires at least once a month and after long trips. The best time to inflate tires is when they’re cool.
    • Check your owner’s manual to determine if and when you should rotate tires.
    • Always replace tires when the tread is less than 1.6 millimetres. After replacing tires, have the wheels balanced.
    • Studded tires are illegal between April 30 and Oct. 1.

    Remember: A tire with deep cuts, cracks, blisters or bulges is dangerous and should be replaced.

    Normal tire wear
    1) Normal wear
    exposes the wear indicators between two or more adjacent grooves. Replace the tire when the wear indicators become visible.
    Under inflation
    2) Under-inflation
    will cause a tire to wear out at the edges first. This tire’s smooth edges may causes kids on wet curves and must be replaced.
    3) Over-inflation
    causes the tire to wear out in the centre first. This tire is dangerously worn and must be replaced.


    All motor vehicles must be equipped with a mirror, providing a clear rear view. Vehicles such as vans, buses, trucks, campers, cars pulling trailers and other vehicles must have outside mirrors on the right and left sides. Extended mirrors must be removed when a trailer is not being towed.


    All motor vehicles must have a horn that can be heard for at least 60 metres. A horn should be sounded only when necessary.

    Windshield and windows

    There must be a clear view from the front windshield, side and rear windows. From Nov. 1 to March 31 inclusive, your vehicle must be capable of keeping the windshield, the rear window and the windows at both sides free from frost

    Windshield wipers and washers

    Front windows must have windshield wipers in good working condition and every motor vehicle dating from 1971 (except motorcycles or mopeds) must have a functioning windshield washer with the fluid container topped up as necessary.

    Speedometer and odometer

    A motor vehicle must have a speedometer and odometer in good working order. It’s illegal to alter the distance shown on an odometer.


    All motor vehicles must have a muffler capable of preventing excessive noise. A leaky muffler can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s illegal to use a muffler cut-out, straight exhaust, gutted muffler, hollywood muffler, bypass or any device that reduces the effectiveness of a noise muffler.


    Every passenger car must have a bumper at the front and rear


    It’s illegal to raise or lower the original suspension of a passenger car.