5 TIPS ON HOW TO WINTERIZE YOUR CAR
Temperatures are dropping, fog is reducing visibility and rain is turning into snow. So that you can also enjoy driving pleasure in winter, you should now winterize your car as soon as possible. You can get an appointment in your workshop for this, but you can also do some things yourself. Do not wait too long, because a sudden onset of winter can be dangerous for you and others without a winter check on your car.
It doesn’t work without winter tires
Whether you live in the snowy areas or in the lowlands, as soon as the temperatures drop, it is high time for winter tires. Since 2010, winter tires have been compulsory in Germany for black ice, black ice or slush. If you cause an accident in winter road conditions and drive a car without winter tires, you will get into trouble with your insurance company and face a fine. All-season tires, so-called M + S tires, are allowed, but they should be in good condition and have enough tread. Winter tires with a tread depth of less than four millimeters must be replaced, as well as when the tires are older than 10 years. When checking the car in winter, it is essential to take a closer look at the winter tires.
Check the battery
When winterizing your car, be sure to test the battery as well. Because in winter, old batteries are the most common cause of car breakdowns. You can have the battery checked in the workshop. Replacing the battery is cheaper and, above all, less stressful than calling for a breakdown service because the car won’t start.
Make sure there is sufficient frost protection
Please also pay attention to the fill level of the cooler when winterizing your car and to adequate frost protection. If this protection is too low in freezing temperatures, your car could in extreme cases suffer engine damage. The frost protection in the radiator is also a rust protection for the radiator, the water pump and the cooling channels. The agent stabilizes the electrical conductivity of the coolant. Your car workshop, for example, can check whether the frost protection in your radiator is sufficient. You can also determine the antifreeze concentration on your own if you have a test spindle. Minus values of minus 20 to minus 30 degrees are ideal.
While you’re at it, think about the frost protection in the windshield washer when you check your car during the winter.
Good visibility in winter
In the cold season, visibility is often poor due to fog, rain or snow. In addition, you will likely drive a lot in the dark as the days are short. Therefore, the headlights and taillights must always be functional and clean. When winterizing a car, checking the height adjustment of the headlights is also part of it. A workshop can help to set all light sources correctly. However, clean car windows inside and out also ensure good visibility in winter. Replace old wiper blades during the winter check, at the latest when they are already leaving streaks on the windshield. A good tip is insulation film under the windshield wiper rubbers. This way they don’t freeze and are not damaged.
Prepare for winter traffic jams
It can not only happen in the mountains. Heavy snowfall, black ice or a pile-up when visibility is poor on the autobahn and traffic jams that stretch for kilometers form. If these are looked at for hours, it can be very uncomfortable in the car. Therefore, when you winterize your car, you should also check the supplies in the vehicle. At least one blanket is very important. A flashlight can also be very useful in the event of a car breakdown, for example. The winter check in the car also includes testing the functionality of the flashlight. You should bring water and small snacks with you in the car, especially if you are planning a longer drive, starting your winter holiday or if very bad weather conditions have been announced. Sufficient fuel in the tank protects against unpleasant surprises in traffic jams. An ice scraper should be put in the car when winterizing your car, and sunglasses can be just as important. It does a good job when the winter sun is low or the snow is blinding.