• Ben Runkel

Winter Preparation Tips For Your Vehicle

Whether we want to admit it or not, Old Man Winter is just around the corner, and our vehicles (and bodies) are in for a cold weather shock! Below are a few tips to help you prepare your vehicle both on the mechanical and detailing side as we make our way into these colder temperatures.

General and Mechanical Tips:

  • If you have more of a summer high-performance tire on your vehicle be sure to get a set of winter tires and maybe even some cheap steel wheels to make the switch over simple. This was one of the best investments I made on my personal vehicle to winterize it every year. Great traction!

  • Utilize the remote start feature on your vehicle (if equipped) or consider getting one installed. Allowing your vehicle to warm up for at least 5-10 minutes will make your engine, and your interior cabin temperature much happier.

  • Get all of your fluids checked out (especially coolant and oil) and topped off or changed at your mechanic shop. The last thing you want during the winter is a low fluid level or worst a leak that lets air in and freezes a line.

  • Keep a healthy amount of gas in your tank and try not to let it go below a 1/4 full at any time.

  • Check your battery

  • Have a bottle of lock de-icer handy if you have an older vehicle without keyless entry

  • Personally, I don't put my wiper blades up during the winter. On lots of newer vehicles they are tucked under the hood anyway so it's more difficult to get them in the service position. Just be patient and rely on your defroster to do its job when the car is warming up.

Detailing Tips:

  • Skip the wax and get a sealant or a coating. Waxes won't do much at all. At a minimum you want a synthetic sealant on your paint vs a natural wax as any natural wax won't withstand the harsh climate. A ceramic coating would be the best option for paint protection for winter.

  • An entry-level, 12-18 month ceramic coating, is perfect for winter protection when looking for a shorter term option. Get it reapplied each year or opt for a professional grade one next time.

  • Glass coatings are your bread and butter this time of year. Ice will melt faster and your windshield will stay clearer. Now, glass coatings aren't some miracle product that will magically melt ice upon contact, but you will notice a quicker defrost time, better snow and water repellency, and reduced glare when driving at night.

  • DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT use the ice scraper on your vehicle's paintwork. That is one quick way to scratch up your paint! 😉

  • Wash your vehicle regularly to keep the salt and road grime from building up. If you can't wash by hand indoors, touchless washes are great for this time of year. Be sure to choose an option that has the undercarriage blast!

  • Visit your detailer right before winter and right afterwards! This way you can make sure everything is prepped properly and inspected and cleaned up afterwards.

Ben's favorite detailing services for winter prep:

Windshield Coating: $75, $175 for all glass

Platinum Exterior detail: Starts at $175

Visit for more information on detailing services and winter protection options.

Elkhart County Ceramic Coating Specialist

Gtechniq Accredited


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