Meteorological winter begins on December 1, 2023, although some drivers still drive with summer tires. Unfortunately, this is also one of the reasons why accidents occur in many places when the roads first become slippery – since winter tires are only required in this country depending on the situation. In plain language, this means: 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 the roads are usually slippery 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 tires.

To ensure that your vehicle’s cooling system can work smoothly even in winter, you must check the coolant before the onset of winter. Normally it can withstand temperatures down to minus 25 degrees Celsius – but if the coolant level drops below the minimum limit, massive engine damage can occur. To ensure that there is enough radiator antifreeze, it is best to drive your car to a workshop or gas station to have the coolant checked. Unless you have your own¬†antifreeze tester.

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

In winter, driving 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. To ensure that you always have a clear view, not only well-functioning windshield wipers are essential – the fan must also run smoothly, as fogged up windows are not uncommon in winter. A special car dehumidifier can also help here:

There’s one thing you can’t avoid when temperatures drop below zero: ice scraping – a particularly annoying 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 seconds and make scratching easier. Alternatively, you can also use a special anti-freeze cover for the windshield:

According to the 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 – and replace the car battery in good time. In any case, you should always carry a jumper cable with you or keep a portable car jump starter in the trunk:

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 will make them more supple. There are also special grease sticks and care products that protect the rubber from drying out or cracking. This not only saves you time, but also the high costs that would normally arise if you had to have the seals replaced.

To prevent the door locks from freezing, you can protect them from frost in advance with a universal spray or a special oil (not resinous). If it happens that you can no longer turn the key, you would do well to always carry a door lock de-icer with you – but never keep it in the glove compartment, as it will be of no help if it is in the car But you can no longer open the doors.

In the winter months, the paint in particular suffers from the weather conditions: in addition to cold and snow, it is mainly the road salt that affects the protective layer. Regular trips to the car wash are at least as important as car care: treat the paintwork regularly with wax to protect it from external influences. The additional polish counteracts the weather and ensures that your vehicle survives the winter without any major injuries.

In winter, it is generally advisable to turn on the lights during the day – regardless of how bright it is outside. On the one hand, this gives you a better view and, on the other hand, you can be noticed more quickly by other drivers. To winterize your car, you should always keep the lights clean and have them checked regularly by a workshop to ensure that the lights are set correctly and that they are all working properly.

Last but not least, you should always keep an eye on your engine oil throughout the winter: If you only drive short distances by car every day, the engine will no longer warm up properly. The longer cold running phases automatically increase oil consumption, meaning you could end up having to change the oil sooner than you would like. It is important to ensure that the viscosity is correct 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 carried out an oil change yourself, there are a few important points to consider Рespecially in winter. You can read what these are in the detailed ADAC guide. In this article you will learn everything you need to know about mixing, viscosity, SAE grades, ACEA specification and oil dilution. Of course, you can also contact a workshop that will change the oil for you.

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