Winterizing your car: the most important steps

Wet, cold and ice
Winterize your car: With these tips, your vehicle will survive the cold season

In snowy regions, an ordinary ice scraper is no longer enough

© Stadtratte / Getty Images

At the latest when the temperatures drop below zero degrees, many drivers are annoyed by icy windows, frozen door locks or empty car batteries. The following tips will help you and your vehicle to get through the winter safely.

The meteorological winter began on December 1, 2020, but some drivers still drive with summer tires. Unfortunately, this is also one of the reasons why accidents occur in many places with the first slippery road surface – because in this country there is only a situational winter tire requirement. In plain language this means: Vehicle owners only have to change their tires when the road conditions are wintry (black ice, slush or slippery frost). Nevertheless, the ADAC recommends winter tires from October to Easterwitha profile depth of at least four millimeters to put. Regardless of how cold it is outside. Because usually the slippery road comes faster than one would like. In order to ensure that you and your vehicle survive the cold season safely, you will find out below how you can make your car winter-proof in addition to changing tires.

1. The frost protection

You must check the cooling water before the onset of winter so that the cooling system of your vehicle can also work without problems in winter. Normally it can withstand temperatures down to minus 25 degrees Celsius – if it drops Cooling water level however, below the minimum limit, massive engine damage can result. To ensure that there is sufficient radiator antifreeze, it is best to drive your car to a workshop or petrol station to have the cooling water checked. Unless you own your own Frost protection tester.

To ensure that you always have a clear view while driving, even in winter, you need to Windshield washer fluid also make frost-proof. That Antifreeze is not only intended for cleaning the windscreen, it also ensures that the washer fluid, the pump and, ultimately, the spray nozzles do not freeze over. After you have winterized the windshield water, you should operate the window cleaning lever several times – this is the only way to ensure that the agent is evenly distributed throughout the entire system.

2. The window panes

In winter, driving by car is severely affected by the short days and long nights. Especially when snow and mud dominate the weather and leave annoying streaks on the window panes and cloud the view. So that you always have a clear view, are not only well-functioning windshield wipers essential – the fan also has to run perfectly, because fogged windows are not uncommon in winter. A special one can also be used here Auto dehumidifier Remedy:

There is one thing you cannot avoid when temperatures drop below zero: Ice scratches – a particularly annoying task, but one that you can speed up with the right tools: make use of one Eiskratzerwho also owns a whisk. There are special ones to support this Disk de-icerthat can thaw frozen panes again in seconds and make it easier for you to scratch. Alternatively, you can use a special Frost protection cover use for the windshield:

3. The car battery

According to the ADAC, an empty one belongsCar battery among the most common winter breakdowns. This is due to the icy temperatures, which are particularly problematic for older models. If the battery stutters in mild temperatures, there is a very high probability that it will stop making a sound below zero degrees. It’s best not to let it get that far in the first place – and replace the car battery in good time. In any case, you should always have one Jumper cables carry with you or a portable one Auto jump start store in the trunk:

4. The seals

On cold days it can happen that the seals freeze – and tear if the car doors are opened forcibly. To counteract this, you should clean and grease them before the first frost, this makes them more pliable. There are also special ones for this Grease pin and Care productsthat protect the rubber from drying out or tearing. This not only saves you time, but also saves you the high costs that would normally arise if you had to have the seals replaced.

5. The door lock

So thatDoor locksdo not even freeze over, you can do this in advance with a Universalspray or a special oil (non-resinous) protect against frost. However, should it happen that you can no longer turn the key, you would do well to get one Door lock deicer always to take with you – however, never keep it in the glove compartment as it is of no help to you if it is in the car and you can no longer open the doors.

6. The paint

In the winter months, the paintwork in particular suffers from the weather conditions: In addition to the cold and snow, it is above all the road salt that clogs the protective layer. The regular trip to Car wash is at least as important as that car Care: Treat the paintwork regularly waxto protect it from external influences. By the additional polish counteract the weather and ensure that your vehicle survives the winter without major wounds.

7. The lights

In winter, it is generally advisable to turn on the light during the day – regardless of how bright it is outside. This gives you a better view on the one hand, and allows other drivers to see you more quickly on the other. To winterize your car, you should have the lighting always keep it clean and regularly in a workshop Have it checked to make sure lights are set correctly and are all working properly.

8. The engine oil

Last but not least, you should too Engine oil Always keep an eye on the winter: If you only cover short distances in your car every day, the engine will no longer warm up properly. The longer cold running phases automatically increase the oil consumption, so that a Oil change could approach you faster than you would like. It is essential to ensure that the viscosity is correct so that the lubricant does not become too thick due to the cold and the motor can no longer work properly.

Tip: If you have never changed the oil yourself, there are a few important points to consider, especially in winter. You can find out what these are in the detailed ADAC guide. In this article Learn everything you need to know about mixing, viscosity, SAE classes, ACEA specification and oil thinning. Of course, you can also contact a workshop that will carry out the oil change for you.

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