The meteorological winter begins on December 1, 2022, but some drivers still drive with summer tires. Unfortunately, this is also one of the reasons why accidents occur in many places when the first slippery roads occur - since winter tires are only mandatory in certain situations in this country. In plain language, this means that vehicle owners only have to change tires when winter road conditions (black ice, slush or frost) are present. Nevertheless, the ADAC recommends using winter tires with a tread depth of at least four millimeters from October to Easter. Regardless of how cold it is outside. Because most of the time, the slippery roads come faster than you would like. To ensure that you and your vehicle survive the cold season safely, you will find out below how you can winterize your car in addition to changing the tyres.
To ensure that your vehicle's cooling system can also work properly in winter, you must check the cooling water before the onset of winter. It normally withstands temperatures down to minus 25 degrees Celsius - but if the cooling water level falls below the minimum limit, massive engine damage can occur. 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 have your own antifreeze tester.
To ensure that you always have a clear view when driving, even in winter, you must also freeze-proof the windscreen washer fluid. The 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. After you have winterized the windshield washer fluid, you should press the window cleaning lever several times - this is the only way to ensure that the agent is evenly distributed throughout the system.
In winter, driving is severely hampered 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, not only well-functioning windscreen wipers are essential - the blower must also run perfectly, because fogged up windows are not uncommon in winter. A special car dehumidifier can also help here:
One thing you can't avoid when the temperature drops below freezing is ice scraping - a particularly tedious task, but one that you can speed up with the right tools: use an ice scraper that also has a whisk. There are also special window de-icers that can thaw frozen windows in a matter of seconds and make scratching easier for you. Alternatively, you can also use a special anti-freeze cover for the windscreen:
According to ADAC, a dead car battery is one of the most common winter breakdowns. This is due to the icy temperatures, which are particularly difficult for older models. If the battery stutters even in mild temperatures, there is a very high probability that it will no longer make 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 carry a jumper cable with you or store a portable car jump starter in the trunk:
So that the door locks do not freeze over in the first place, you can protect them from frost in advance with a universal spray or a special oil (non-resinous). However, should it happen that you cannot turn the key, it is a good idea to carry a door lock de-icer with you at all times - but never keep it in the glove compartment, as it will not help you when it is in the car and But you can no longer open the doors.
In the winter months, the paintwork suffers most from the weather conditions: in addition to the cold and snow, it is mainly the road salt that clogs the protective layer. Regular trips to the car wash are at least as important as car care: treat the paint regularly with wax to protect it from external influences. The additional polish counteracts the weather and ensures that your vehicle survives the winter without major injuries.
In winter, it is generally advisable to switch on the light during the day as well – regardless of how bright it is outside. This gives you a better view on the one hand, and you can be noticed more quickly by other drivers on the other. To winterize your car, you should always keep the lights clean and have them checked regularly by a workshop to make sure the lights are set correctly and are all working properly.
Last but not least, you should always keep an eye on the engine oil during the winter: If you only drive short distances in the car every day, the engine no longer warms up properly. The longer cold-running phases automatically increase oil consumption, so that an oil change could come sooner than you would like. Make sure you have the correct viscosity here so that the lubricant does not become too thick due to the cold and the engine 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 read about these in the detailed ADAC guide. In this article you will learn everything you need to know about mixing, viscosity, SAE classes, ACEA specification and oil dilution. Of course, you can also contact a workshop that will change the oil for you.
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