Winter is here and you can definitely feel the chill creeping into your mornings. With just a few minutes of car maintenance, you could really save yourself the headache of being trapped hours in the cold. With plummeting temperatures, your car may be in for a long winter with the usual spike in car breakdowns. So, to power you and your car through the long winter chills, here is an easy checklist for a winter-ready car.
1. Check Your Engine: Coolant/Antifreeze
If you don’t want to be left stranded in the cold due to a frozen engine, then we suggest buying Coolant (antifreeze) from your local auto shop. These can be conveniently purchased as a ready to use mix and poured immediately. For more information regarding ideal antifreeze levels, refer to your car’s manual book.
2. Check Your Tyre Tread and Pressure
During cold and wet climatic conditions, the road can often become slippery and very dangerous. Which is why recommend taking your car to the local service station to have them pumped to its preferred pressure. If uncertain, you can refer to the manual or inspect the side of the tyres as it’ll often indicate it there as well. In addition to pressure, it is crucial that you inspect the tread as well, to ensure that there is enough on there to grip the road. In the gaps of the tyre treads, you may find a tread indicator (looks like a horizontal bar) that will determine if you need new tyres, especially if that bar is leveled.
3. Windshield Wipers
Improve your visibility this winter with working exterior windshield wipers and enough windshield fluid. If you are thinking ahead and don’t want any headaches with your glass windows, then you should definitely consider paint protection car coatings, technology that can be applied on your windows and last months to years. Thanks to its hydrophobic properties, moisture has trouble sticking to the surface, meaning water struggles to stick to the windows during rainy/snowy conditions.
4. Check Your Car Battery
Under cold weather conditions, it is found that battery capacity heavily drops. We recommend parking indoors away from the cold as a great way to keep your car battery in top form. If you have no choice, but to park outdoors, it would be best to check that your battery is in great condition and that you are equipped with jump starter cables in the case of a car failure. For those with an external battery, always check your settings for your dash camera and car reverse camera, these will be your extra set of eyes when things go south.
5. Check Your Defroster
Like your windshield wipers, by making sure that your interior defroster is functioning okay, your visibility may not be compromised significantly. To reduce the amount of condensation i.e foggy/hazy windows, there are several things you could do to address this eg. Cleaning the windscreen, applying wax, turning recirculation off when using the defroster or investing in ceramic coating technology (paint protection coating).
6. Paint Protection: Wax or Ceramic Coating
Just as I briefly mentioned above, a protective layer of wax is recommended to combat the harsh weather conditions, especially against salt and dirt from the road. Whether using a spray, paste or liquid wax, either should all work fine for these conditions. The hydrophobic (water-repelling) property makes it difficult for contaminants to bind to your car’s surface, making it a cost-effective solution for winter. Looking for a strong durable paint protection that hardens like glass across many years? Then please do consider a ceramic coating or graphene coating.
7. Check Your Headlights
You have probably noticed by now that with Winter, you’ll generally experience poorer driving conditions in the form of reduced visibility. So other than keeping your windshields clean & detailed, defroster on and a layer of wax or paint protection, you still need to ensure there is enough lighting. If you notice that your headlight covers show signs of discolouration, fading or a foggy appearance, it can reduce the brightness of your headlights. Instead of replacing your car with new headlights, which can cost you from hundreds to thousands of dollars, we recommend a headlight restoration for a fraction of the price.
If you are interested in preparing your car prior to winter through a proper wash and wax, then perhaps our Sydney or Melbourne team can assist you there. As a premium car detailing mobile service, we are fully equipped to prep your paintwork so that it can deal with the cold Winter and come out the season looking fresh. Don’t risk damaging the condition of your car and have it properly protected this Winter.
Car Care Advice For The Everyday Driver & Enthusiast
As a seasoned author on our team, Chester also known as ‘Gadget’, for his love for all things mechanical, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table, particularly when it comes to automotive topics.