There’s something to be said for the old Boy Scout motto of always being prepared, so here are some useful tips and products to help you with winter weather car care.
Keep it covered
For cars kept on a driveway, it makes sense to keep them covered. This will protect it from the elements as well as tree sap and bird droppings. A word of warning, though. Don’t put a cover on a wet or damp car, otherwise it will trap in the moisture, and make sure it’s clean otherwise you’ll scratch your paint. The best covers are water proof and breathable, keeping water out while allowing some of the moisture to escape. It’s also important to get the right fit so there’s no chaffing to the paintwork when the wind whips up. Check out our range of breathable car covers here.
Coolants and antifreeze
It’s important to have the correct concentration of anti-freeze in your cooling system, not just to prevent your coolant freezing up, but also to prevent internal corrosion. Type and concentration varies (it’s usually around 50/50), so refer to your owner’s manual. You can buy a hydrometer to test concentration, or get a local garage to test it for you. Either way, coolant should be changed every few years, so if in doubt, drain out the old coolant, mix up a fresh brew, then pour it in. It’s not a good idea to mix G12/G13 (the pink coloured anti-freeze) with other types and always use distilled water when making up the right concentration.
In winter it’s easy for a car’s cabin to become a little stuffy and you’ll want to crack open a window. However, to prevent wind noise it’s a good idea to fit window deflectors. However, not all wind deflectors are the same, and the ones here for the T5, for example, which fit in the window channel, produce far less wind noise than other types.
People often say it’s pointless washing a car in winter because it will only get dirty again. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth as keeping a car clean and polished will help preserve its appearance for years to come. Try Auto Finesse Power Seal which helps release contamination and acts to protect against even the harshest weather conditions.
Going round in circles
Thanks to brake dust fallout alloy wheels take quite a hammering, regardless of the time of year. However, during winter, road salt adds to the danger, eating into the alloy and getting under any imperfections in the lacquer. That’s why it is wise to keep them surgically clean and treat them to a further layer of wax or sealant. Auto Finesse Mint Rims Wax and Sealant is good – it’s easy to apply, repels brake dust and allows you to keep your rims sparkly clean whatever the weather.
It’s all too easy to put off changing your wiper blades until MoT time, but when it’s dark and rainy, giving your windscreen a clean swipe is essential if you want to maintain perfect visibility. There are all types of wiper available, but it’s important to get the right type (and length) for your particular vehicle and it usually pays to spend a little extra on the best quality products. Don’t forget the screen wash either, otherwise you’ll just be smearing dry dirt about and wearing the new blades out prematurely.
Keep it sealed
Another weapon in your armoury to keep the worst of the weather out during winter is your VW rubber seals. That’s why now is the time to inspect your car for perished or missing rubber and fit the necessary replacement.
Hopefully this has given you a few ideas for making your winter motoring slightly more bearable, and keeping your car in the best shape ready for spring time and the return of show season.