How to Winterize Your Car

VD August 08 2021

As soon as it gets cooler outside, you should prepare your car for winter with a checklist. In this article, we show you what you have to watch out for and which mistakes you should never make.

Winter tires

Anyone who drives without winter tires in snow or black ice does not just have to pay a fine. You are also no longer protected by your comprehensive insurance and you risk your own health and that of others. Therefore: winter tires are compulsory from October to Easter!

In any case, you should check the tread depth of the winter tires at an early stage. If this is less than four millimeters, you should replace the tires. Even if your winter tires are more than ten years old, changing them is recommended.

Frost protection for the car

The perfect frost protection for your car is just as important as winter tires. You should use the antifreeze that is tailored to your car. Make sure that the antifreeze for the cooling water adequately protects your engine even when it is very cold.

The antifreeze for the water tank of the windshield washer system should also provide effective protection in cold temperatures.

Don't forget to take a critical look at the windscreen wiper blades. If the wiper blades are already worn out, it is safer to replace the wipers.

Safeguard your car battery in winter

Every year thousands of car batteries run out in winter, so you should be prepared accordingly:

You are on the safe side when you leave a charger in the garage. So you can charge the car battery at any time and are ready to start when required.

If the battery is showing its age, you can save yourself a lot of trouble by changing the car battery. Just in case you should always have a jump start cable with you in the car in winter.

Tip: If you have your vehicle's lighting system checked at the beginning of the dark season, you are not only on the safe side but are also saving money. 

Make door seals and locks fit for winter

If you have prepared your motor vehicle perfectly for winter, it is more than annoying if you cannot drive off in the morning because the car doors are frozen.

Specialist shops offer special care products with which you should always treat rubber parts such as door seals on a regular basis so that the rubber remains pliable. In any case, it makes sense to grease the door seal and the door lock with a good rubber care product by winter at the latest.

As a rule, you can get through the cold season well after greasing, but as a precaution, you should always have a door lock de-icer on hand when the temperature is below zero.

It is best to put small bottles in important places, such as in the office and garage, as well as in your handbag. The de-icer will not do you any good in the glove compartment if you are standing in front of the car. What you should always have in the glove compartment in winter, however, is a good ice scraper for the windows.

Remove dirt from the headlights

In winter, the road conditions are not only particularly dangerous, but it is also dark for much longer so that the headlights play a much more important role than in summer.

You should clean the headlights at regular intervals, especially during the darker months of the year. 

If traditional remedies can't get rid of the dirt, try an old home remedy. Rub the headlights well with toothpaste and let them soak in. After about twenty minutes, wipe off the toothpaste again.

Switch to winter oil

To prevent the engine from stuttering, it is recommended to switch from summer to winter oil. However, this only applies in extremely icy temperatures. Winter oil is thinner than summer oil and therefore suitable for very cold climates. 

Checklist: How to Winterize Your Car

  • Fit winter tires
  • Check battery
  • Fill in antifreeze for the radiator and washer system
  • Pay attention to your windshield wipers
  • Have the lighting system checked
  • Grease the door seals
  • Clean the windshield throwers regularly

Your car is particularly subject to wear and tear in winter. With our checklist, you can prevent many potential problems, such as iced door seals or a weak battery. Use these tips to get through the winter safely.