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READYING YOUR CAR FOR WINTER.READYING YOUR CAR FOR WINTER.

READYING YOUR CAR FOR WINTER.

6 min reading time

How to make your car winter-proof.

Whether a sports car, convertible or classic car: with these tips, you can get your automobile started again in the spring without any nasty surprises.

30 November 2018

Want to protect your treasured automotive from snow, ice and salt? Or perhaps you want to ensure your vintage car is fit for storage over the winter? With a little preparation, your vehicle will survive the cold months without being damaged. In order to start the spring season in the best of moods, we’re giving you a few important car care tips – whether you intend to place it in winter storage or have the option of some occasional trips. If you don’t get your vehicle ready for the winter, you might have to invest more time and money in the spring to get it back on the road.

DOING WINTER STORAGE RIGHT.

Engine of a BMW M3.Engine of a BMW M3.

One of the first steps before saying goodbye to your car over winter is to check its operating fluids. These are best taken care of before the last car wash. The reason for this is simple: after refilling, the liquids must be distributed in the circuits. Therefore, the vehicle should be moved a little before storage. Pay particular attention to the following operating fluids before winter:

CHECK AND REFILL LIQUIDS.

COOLANT.

Here, you should check the correct level, because a dry garage does not necessarily mean that air and water cannot freeze over. Make sure that the correct radiator antifreeze is refilled if necessary. There are silicate-free liquids (usually red or pink) and silicate-containing liquids (usually blue or green). If you are unsure, take a look at your vehicle’s owner’s manual or contact your specialist workshop.

WINDSCREEN WIPER WATER.

The same applies here as for the coolant: wiper water should be filled with antifreeze. Use one of your last trips with your car to put the windscreen wiper water into the circuit together with added frost protection.

BRAKE FLUID.

Have the water content of the brake fluid measured – this should be less than three per cent. The hydraulic fluid in the brake system is not compressed when the brake pedal is depressed but retains its volume and ensures immediate braking action. Brake fluid, however, is hygroscopic. This means that over time it attracts water that can change its volume under pressure. High water content is therefore problematic because it reduces the effect of braking. In addition to this, the risk of corrosion increases with the water content in the brake system. The brake pistons, for example, could rust over the winter.

OIL.

Even if you haven’t yet scheduled a maintenance interval, you should consider a fresh oil change. Deposits of dirt and acid formation in the used oil can damage the engine and block fine oil passages in the engine block, or damage seals, for example.

FUEL.

Modern vehicles have plastic tanks, but older models often still have tanks made from sheet metal. To prevent these from rusting during the winter months, the tank should be filled completely. To be on the safe side, refill from the spare canister when parking in the winter storage area.

BMW M3 E46.BMW M3 E46.

THOROUGH CLEANING INSIDE AND OUT.

CORROSION PREVENTION.

BMW Cleaning Kit USA.BMW Cleaning Kit USA.

For sheet metal cladding and subfloor. Now is also the time to devote ourselves to conservation. You should use high-quality care products for paintwork and interior fittings. Whether leather or imitation leather seats, wooden or plastic dashboards: there are suitable care products for every material to increase its service life.

BMW Ultimate Cleaning Kit
Pflegeset Cabrio.Pflegeset Cabrio.

Convertible tops of cars have special impregnations to ensure that your darling is not literally left standing in the rain when the weather takes a turn for the worse. Special polishes are available for the plastic windows in the hood to keep them supple and transparent.

WICHTIG FÜR GELEGENTLICHE AUSFAHRTEN.

If you keep open the option of a trip in the winter sun, you should think about your car’s underbody. Vintage models in particular should be taken care of in this regard. Doing this protects vehicles against dirt and, to a certain extent, against road salt. Get the best advice, because not every conservation is suitable shortly before the winter hiatus. Corrosion protection is another thing to think about – the residues of which much be removed after a few weeks of an underbody wash.

BMW Cleaners & Care Products

TYRES.

Rims and tyres of a BMW M3 E46.Rims and tyres of a BMW M3 E46.

Problems with their service life. Long periods in one spot can have a negative effect on the condition of a car’s tyres. So-called ‘standing plates’ pose a threat but, thankfully, there are several ways to avoid this. For example, the wheels can be relieved by the means of jacks that can be used to jack up the car. In the long run, however, this method is not without risk, as forces are introduced into the body at the wrong points. Tyre protectors are therefore a better choice. These aids provide a bed for each tyre, which takes up a larger part of the tyre contact area and distributes the load.

THE BATTERY.

Battery.Battery.

This is how it hibernates. The performance of the battery is impaired by prolonged non-use and by the winter cold. A battery charger can prevent this. Watch out, though: if you want to remove the battery in order to hang it on a charger, you should be should that reinstalling it won’t be a problem. In some newer vehicles, memories in the control unit reset if the power supply is interrupted for a longer period of time. Then a code must be entered to start the engine – usually via a specific sequence of how to turn the ignition key.

DO NOT NEGLECT THE INTERIOR CLIMATE.

Interior BMW M3 E46.Interior BMW M3 E46.

Particular attention should also be paid to the climate inside your vehicle. An optimum interior climate prevents pesky unpleasant odours and even mildew. Special dehumidifiers are suited to this purpose. You will find this compact and usually inexpensive alternative in specialist dealers as well as in DIY stores.

FINAL SPURT TO THE WINTER CAMP.

Muffler of a BMW M3 E46.Muffler of a BMW M3 E46.

On the last trip of the season you should make a small detour and warm up your vehicle properly. This distributes the operating fluids and any condensation evaporates from the exhaust. Do not apply the handbrake during subsequent parking if the parking surface permits this. If the worst comes to the worst, the brakes could even seize up. Instead, you should engage first gear to prevent your car from rolling away.

BMW under a Car Cover.BMW under a Car Cover.

Those who have finished preparing their automotive for winter storage can finally cover up their pride and joy. With a breathable car cover, the vehicle is protected from dust deposits – but you shouldn’t use ‘mobile garages’ made of permeable plastic. Even in dry conditions, condensation can remain underneath and lead to rust or mildew.

DRIVING FUN ALL YEAR ROUND.DRIVING FUN ALL YEAR ROUND.

DRIVING FUN ALL YEAR ROUND.

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