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Do-it-yourself / Winter preparation

New or old, warm or frosty winter conditions, your car requires some care to extend its usability and increase your safety. It is worth spending some time to do some simple care for your car. 

Preparing your car for winter will allow you to avoid unpleasant surprises on frosty mornings. Some basic measures will help to protect your car against the negative effects of winter weather conditions. They can help to avoid annoying fogging of windows or sticking of door seals and protect your car cooling system.

In some cases, a visit to the service or parts store is necessary. Winter conditions increase the chance of battery failure. Service workshops offer a quick battery efficiency test.

The ignition system may also be deficient – it is better to replace spark plugs or cables in advance. This is related especially to LPG cars. Cars with diesel engines should have the fuel filter replaced before winter. Engine coolant should be replaced following the car manufacturer’s manual.

Tyres also need care: winter or all-season tyres should have a tread depth of at least 4-5 mm and no more than 5-6 years, because old rubber loses its properties.

However, you can do a basic inspection and protect your car against winter by yourself. The varnish, after being protected with wax, is easier to clean and is more resistant to corrosion. You should remember about a few useful accessories: a soft bristle brush, a mat to protect the windshield and defrosters for windows and locks.

Useful winter equipment, defrosters for windows and locks. Triger sprays can be kept inside the car but all defrosters spray must be kept at room temperature. Windscreen defrosters are also suitable for frozen wipers down to -37°C.

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Bodywork protection

In winter, aesthetics are less important – what counts is careful protection of the bodywork. Your car should be thoroughly washed. The majority of car washes are only suitable for rinsing away dirt, but not effective for thorough cleaning. The best way to do it is yourself, using a car shampoo and a microfiber glove or sponge:

CAUTION! We do not use traditional sponges for washing, because the particles of sand remaining in their porous structure scratch the varnish. We also do not use household chemicals as it may lead to the paint fading. Please remember to remove any residual leaves from grilles, body gaps and drainage points.

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It is also worth remembering that when washing your winter, please pay attention to the ambient temperature. A car kept outdoors should only be washed in above zero temperatures. Below zero, freezing water can harm the paintwork. It is worth visiting car washes regularly to rinse dirt and salt from the sills, wheel arches and bodywork.

We do not recommend covering the car with a tarpaulin, which can retain moisture and damage the paint coating.

Another important step is to protect your car paint with wax. Waxing can be done in the garage or even after the car wash.

Fast care, you can use liquid wax which helps to get rid of traces of water from your car paint. But, classic hard wax with Carnauba content is the best solution protecting your paint for many months. Full details how to do it are available at our website.

Please also remember about your tyres and brakes. Pre-winter cleaning is a good time to clean your brakes. Our wheel cleaners are a fast and easy solution. Also in in combination with a special brush. Full details how to do it are available at our website.

After washing and drying, the rims should be protected with a special wax. The saltiness of the road in winter can lead to corrosion of light alloy wheels.

The layer of such a preparation can last for several weeks, and in addition protects your rims against adverse weather conditions.

In winter, visibility is of great importance – that’s why it is worth applying Invisible wiper. It creates a durable layer on your car windshield which facilitates efficient water and ice removal.

It really works! Especially if you travel outside the city a lot. To further enhance visibility you can also apply on the rear.

Caution: You must degrease the glass thoroughly before applying.

In winter, working wipers are essential. Even if we do not replace them, it is worth cleaning the blades and degreasing them with a glass cleaner and a paper towel or special tissues.

If your car is parked outside, please consider, covering your windscreen with a mat or a cover.

Interior

Also, the aesthetics of the interior in winter is often not remembered. Deep rubber mats are usually the most practical – as water does not spill over the carpet.

Moisture is one of the most troublesome things in winter: it settles on the windows reducing visibility and can cause an unpleasant smell. One of the main reasons for fogging is dirt remaining inside.

The best way to avoid fogging is to keep your car interior car cleaned and vacuumed.

A remedy for serious, long-lasting problems with steaming windows or unpleasant odor can be a professional upholstery cleaning alternatively ozone treatment. Applying an anti-fog product to the windows can additionally help your driving confidence.

It is best to use a soft, clean microfiber cloth for cleaning plastic in the cabin. A matt or glossy effect depends only on you and your personal preferences.

We advise applying the product using a clean, soft cotton cloth and not directly onto the plastic, to avoid accidental spraying on other parts.

Before winter, especially in cars with windows without frames, the door seals as well as the boot lids should be protected against freezing.

Please remember to dry and protect the rubber seals each time after washing your car in winter time.

It is worth cleaning and impregnating leather upholstery in your car regularly to moisturise and protect leather against dampness and cracking, keeping leather soft, supple and looking like new.

Again, it is best to use a soft, clean microfiber cloth for cleaning plastic in the cabin. Special wipes for leather can be kept handy in your car for any unexpected situations while driving.

It is worth lubricating the door hinges, the electric antenna and the sunroof mechanism before winter. Products with molybdenum disulphite content, which displaces water and lubricates, became useful.

Do not forget your air conditioning during the winter.

Although the air-conditioning does not work in sub zero temperatures it is worth activating it regularly.

It helps to effectively evaporate any steam and allows the entire air conditioning system to continue to work properly.

You can refresh it yourself using specialized products, to help to reduce unpleasant odors. It is an easy-to-use kit, just put the can inside, remove the lock and leave the car running for several minutes. You do not need to disassemble anything or use the help of specialists. Detailed instructions are available on our website.

Screen wash

Before winter, even in well-functioning, regularly serviced cars, it is worth carrying out a few simple tasks yourself. You should start from replacing the summer screen wash with a winter version.

Choosing a ready-to-use screen wash shouldn’t be a matter of buying the cheapest one at the supermarket. The screen wash freezing point is one of the most important things, especially during severe winters. The product should also be safe for your paintwork, rubber, plastic and headlights. Screen wash with a glycerin content protects the spray nozzles against freezing. Well thought out products have a spout attached allowing you to top up without spilling.

An alternative solution to a ready-to-use screen wash can be a concentrate version which has to be diluted before using.

Antifreeze

Check the coolant level regularly, especially before winter. Each antifreeze looses its properties and should be changed as recommended by your car manufacturer. Using low quality antifreeze or not changing it as recommended will damage and cause corrosion and scale in the cooling system.

You can check the coolant’s freezing point by yourself, using an electronic tester. Further details are available on our website.

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Brake fluid

You should also take a look at the brake fluid level – and remember when it was last changed. Each brake fluid looses its properties and should be changed as recommended by your car manufacturer. Brake fluid absorbs water and loses its properties over time.

When choosing a product, ensure the brake fluid has all the appropriate standards recommended by your car manufacturer.

Heating and lighting

Before, it is essential to check your cab heating system, rear window heating, side mirrors and lighting are all fully operational and repair as needed.

Lack of use is harmful

If the car is seldom used and temperatures drop below zero and you do not use it on a regular daily base it might a good idea to visit your family or friends enjoying a drive in winter time, keeping your car happy and fully operational.