How-To… Six Easy Steps to Prepare Your Vehicle For Winter

Why on earth do I need to prepare my car for winter-time?

Once winter comes, your car will be bombarded with with all sorts of weather ranging from freezing heavy rain to snow. This, accompanied by a generous helping of salt (grit) on the road means your car’s bodywork, wheels, tyres, trim and glass are going to take a real hammering.
The salt they lay down is particularly nasty and so your vehicle needs a good amount of protection against it. Plus during winter-time, unless you’re lucky enough to have a large enough garage, it can be a real pain getting the right weather to prep your car properly.

How easy or fussy will it be to prep my vehicle?

Preparing the vehicle will include your normal car cleaning routine, except it’s more in-depth and more time will be needed.

How do I prepare my car for winter then?

Well, take a look at the list underneath. We’re sure it’ll be of use!


– Wash your car (see Car Shampoo reviews) as per usual, taking extra care in cleaning under the wheel arches.Washing 450px


– Use a really good wax on your paintwork (see Wax and Polish reviews). Make sure you apply at least 2 or 3 layers of wax and maybe even give the vehicle a coat of detailing product afterwards to back up the wax. An example of that is Dodo Juice’s Red Mist Detailer. Other companies also sell similar products.Waxing 450px


– If your vehicle has plastic trim on the bodywork and under the wheel arches, give them a couple of good coats of exterior trim protectant (see Exterior Trim Product reviews) as this is almost like waxing or polishing  your plastics and it gives them a layer of protection against the elements.Trim 450px


– Wash your wheels throughly (See How-To… Keep Your Wheels Looking Great) and remember to give your wheels a couple of coats of wax to keep that nasty road grit from damaging the finish on them.Final Wash 450px


– Clean and coat your tyres with a protectant product (see How-To… Keep Your Tyres Looking Good).Tyres 450px


– Clean your glass inside and out (see Glass Cleaners reviews). There’s nothing worse than getting glare from the low Sun through a dirty and streaky windscreen and frankly, it can be dangerous too. After cleaning your windows in and out use a mist protector on the insides and on the outsides use a rain shield type product. The rain shield acts like a wax on your windows and makes the rain flow off them freely, helping out massively in keeping your vision of the road ahead clear and it also helps when clearing your windows of ice and snow.

Top Tips

– As your car is almost guaranteed to get filthy in winter (if you live in a non-tropical environment that is), give your vehicle a good wash once a week, even if it’s raining, as the vehicle will still be clean afterwards anyway. Brave the weather and get your car washed!

– If the weather permits, after washing your car use a protectant spray on your bodywork to keep the wax topped up.


Got any questions or queries? Just leave a comment at the bottom of the page and we’ll answer you as soon as possible.

Have you got a thought on this How-To? What How-To would you like to see on this site? Got any cleaning tips to share? Let us know in the comments box below.

5 responses to “How-To… Six Easy Steps to Prepare Your Vehicle For Winter”

  1. EmDee

    Good tips, is that your green Toledo? Surely you’re on SCN?

  2. desposy

    im surprised this doesnt mention waxoil or other similar rust preventing treatments. this stuff, particularly on an old car, can prevent the metal work from ever relly rust and fix any current light to moderat patches that are already there

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