Journal: What Do You Do to Prepare Your Car for Winter?

What Do You Do to Prepare Your Car for Winter?

By Ezekiel Wheeler
October 7, 2013

Living in Southern California comes with limitless driving seasons. Hell, the worst thing we have to deal with is water falling from the sky for the most part. I’m sure there is a study that proves most warm-weather drivers act like complete children in bumper cars when water coats the roadways.

So while the west coast will continue to taunt photos of their sub-60-degree weather drives (I know, we have no true concept of the term “cold”).  I’m always curious as to what traditions and winter rituals are performed by our cold-weather counterparts.

So tell us; how do you prepare for the winter?

Image Source: Photo by Don Krohn for the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune.

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Ib Erik Soderblom
Ib Erik Soderblom(@kaiserpingo)
8 years ago

Worst about winters in Denamrk is, that we have a salting-mafia, that covers everything in massively corroding salt, all winter long.
A classic should not drive under those conditions.
No car should !!!

A high quality anti-rust proofing is essential. The salt travels through the air, and covers everything.
Instant repair of any scratches!
Wintertires that are good in wet conditions are more important than wintertires that are good in snow, since the snow is not staying snow-like, for many hour’s.
Oilchange, viperblades and a strong battery on top of that.
A blanket, warm soks, headlight with fresh batteries, jump start cables and a tow rope.

Pete McLachlan
Pete McLachlan(@pyropete)
8 years ago

Pulled the 300E out of summer storage and mounted a fresh set of Pirelli Winter Carving Edge tires and windshield wipers. Re-install winter floor mats, checked the winter kit in trunk (canned heat, blankets, folding shovel, tow strap, flares, traction mat and snow brush). Test block heater and winter blanket to ensure they are going to do thier job on a -35C winter morning. Cant find the radiator blanket and so might have to cut a cardboard to wire in behind the grill. Gives the heater a fighting chance on the highway in February.

Having a fun car car to toss around in the snow makes our deep freeze winters a bit more bearable. Driving the old girl to Brazil would be most bearable, even with the boat ride around the Darien Gap. Hi Ho.

Greg Ritter
Greg Ritter(@quattrogreg)
8 years ago

I have Quattro. So all I have to do is get up early before the snow plows come so I can hear those five cylinders of fury roaring in the morning 🙂
From Boulder, CO

Chris Mann
Chris Mann(@big_chris1981)
8 years ago

They’re pretty keen on road salt here in the UK, which combined with potholes large enough to build a small town in, doesn’t make for ideal classic car driving, for the ’83 BMW E30 is staying tucked away in the garage.

The daily 2001 VW Polo GTI on the other hand is getting some steel wheels, winter tyres, a coat of underseal and some new wipers!

Mykhajlo Halenbek
Mykhajlo Halenbek(@mykhajlo)
8 years ago

For my Lada 2107, I’ll buy an extra set of steel wheels to mount the snow tires. Going to buy a new skid plate, too, as the current one took a beating on this year’s crop of potholes. I’m also think of buying a limited-slip diff. Other than that, an oil & filter and air filter change.

Lars Banka
Lars Banka(@lunte02)
8 years ago

Business as usual: add air to tires, fill up gas to the toplevel, add fuel-stabilizer and roll the guys to the garage. There check battery-voltage frequently and do all the little things you’ve stumbled upon during driving-season (yeah, fix this little switch finally, the spare-part lies there for months now! …).
Winter for me is focusing on the theoretical side of the passion (reading books and manuals) enjoying checking the status of the cars at my garage optimizing it, go hunting for NOS-parts, old brochures and accessory and the wait for the first salt free time in spring.

Stefan van der Weele
Stefan van der Weele(@stefanvanderweel)
8 years ago

My ’93 Saab 900 turbo gets some winter tires, I have snow chains in the trunk as well as a blanket in case of not being able to go on and running out of 98.

Kristaps Brass
Kristaps Brass(@m3lancholy)
8 years ago

Living in a country where the winters are often -20 or even -30 degrees Celsius, for my 3 series I will get winter tires, rust proofing, new windshield wipers, perhaps an oil change. I had to change the battery last year so with all these things I will be drifting around in snow in no time. 🙂

Gianni Burrows
Gianni Burrows(@giannib)
8 years ago

Our winter consists of lots of rain in the Seattle area, so my winter prep consists of adding Stabil to the tank and waiting for the occasional dry day.

Jared East
Jared East(@fb_526972886)
8 years ago

Nothing! I live in Daytona Beach whats winter?

John Dingivan
John Dingivan(@dingj003)
8 years ago
Reply to  Jared East

Living in Orlando, just wear a sweatshirt when driving my Miata with the top down.

Adam Holter
Adam Holter(@aholter90)
8 years ago

My winter procedure this year will be the same as always; keep driving my Dart, put on some General Grabber AT2s on the rear with some weight, and hope the heater is adequate.

Jorrit Hermans
Jorrit Hermans(@jorrit928)
8 years ago

I just keep driving…
Putting a vintage car in hibernation isn’t ideal.
Cars were designed to be driven, not parked.

Steve Elliott
Steve Elliott(@steve)
8 years ago
Reply to  Jorrit Hermans

Totally agree, this will be my first winter driving my classic and I have no plans other than possibly winter tyres and some salt protection.

Future Doc
Future Doc(@futuredoc)
8 years ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

Depends on the vehicle and location. Mid-engine, rear wheel drive in the mountain ice/snow is not the best option. If it is flat and snowy, ok I guess if you don’t mind the salt.

Kevin Wahaus
Kevin Wahaus(@wahaudi)
8 years ago

Give the Audi cabriolet a good wash and wax, change the oil and add fuel stabilizer. Then fire up the V8 Quattro and make sure the blower motor actually works this year!

Future Doc
Future Doc(@futuredoc)
8 years ago

Cover/store the roadster, bust out the 200K Subaru. And maybe hope for a “warmer” day sometime in the dead months.

8 years ago

Linving in a ski resort in the the french Alps, I mount some 4 studded Nokian Hakkapellitta on my 1992 Gulf Racing Fiat Panda 4×4, and then I cross my fingers hoping for huge snow storms !