Preparing a car for winter – basic steps

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The temperatures outside are getting colder and colder, and the first snows are coming soon. This means that it is high time to prepare for winter. In these preparations you certainly can not forget about your car. Find out how to properly take care of your car.

A car in winter, unless it is garaged, is constantly exposed to external factors such as frost, salt and moisture. So it is worth preparing your car properly for this time of year. We suggest how to do it.

Changing from summer to winter tires

The most important thing you must do is to replace summer tires with winter tires. This is one of the most important, if not the most important, aspect of preparing your car for winter. However, make sure that your tires have at least 4mm of tread and that they are not older than 5 years. This way you can be sure that they will fulfill all their functions. The tire compound hardens gradually and after many years may no longer have the appropriate softness that characterizes winter tires. And good tires means comfortable and safe driving.

Be sure to check the operating fluids

Before winter it is necessary to check all operating fluids in your car. First of all, pay attention to the coolant, which plays a special role during cold weather. It is important that it is fresh, because only then you can be sure that it will not freeze in the cold. So, you should replace it completely or add to it, because if the fluid freezes, you risk tearing your engine apart

No less important is brake fluid, so check it necessarily. It is highly hygroscopic, which means that any leaks can result in water entering the brake system. This can lead to significant braking difficulties, which is particularly dangerous on icy roads during winter.

It is also worth checking the engine oil, paying attention to its winter parameter. It should be as low as possible, because oil with a low winter viscosity will ensure easier start-up in winter and will also reach all engine components more quickly, ensuring their safe operation.

What else should be taken care of?

Changing the tires and checking the operating fluids are the absolute cornerstones of safe and comfortable driving during the winter. What else is worth doing? It will certainly be necessary to check the battery. It is the most exposed to winter external factors. Remember also, that its poor condition makes it impossible to start engine in the morning on frost, especially in case of diesel engines, which can be very inconvenient. So if you find that the battery is worn out, it is necessary to replace it with a new one.

It can be useful to protect the body and undercarriage, which are particularly susceptible to damage during frost and humidity. So remember, any signs of undercarriage rot are best eliminated right away to prevent it from spreading. As for the exterior, you can protect it with wax to protect the paint from dirt and harsh winter conditions.

In addition to all these elements, you should also take care of those that may seem trivial, but their efficient operation significantly improves the comfort of your car. So check before winter such parts of the car as spark and glow plugs, alternator, gaskets, lights, filters and air conditioning.

Main photo: Erik Mclean/

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