Winter preparedness tips for your vehicle

Jan. 1, 2020
Each year winter rolls in threatening to blanket cities and streets with heavy snow, slush and freezing temps or has mercy and brings a few bitter-cold days and minimal snow.
Each year winter rolls in threatening to blanket cities and streets with heavy snow, slush and freezing temps or has mercy and brings a few bitter-cold days and minimal snow. While last year’s winter brought mild temps, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, (NOAA) predictions for the 2012-2013 winter calls for temperatures to be about 18 percent colder and above average snowfall is in the cards for cities such as New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

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The trusted car care experts at Turtle Wax know cold weather can wreak havoc on your vehicle’s shine and performance. Waiting until the thermometer hits freezing is too late to begin preparing your car against the harsh winter elements, but taking the proper planning steps before winter hits will help protect your car from damage.

Consumers prepare for winter around the home and yard in a variety of ways, from switching out beach bags for parkas to sealing windows and closing the deck and pool. When it comes to protecting an investment from cold weather damage, a vehicle is no different. Winterizing your car or truck will help prevent interior and exterior damage and avoid bigger problems down the road.

“The winter driving season and harsh weather conditions can be particularly damaging to your vehicle, so it’s important to start preparing your car against harmful elements in the fall before temperatures really drop,” says Mike Schultz, senior vice president of product development for Turtle Wax. “Early preparation can allow for cars to perform better during the hazardous driving conditions and is an all-around safer practice.”

To get your car ready for cold weather, the car care experts at Turtle Wax offer the following winter preparation tips:

Wax on, winter off – To keep your vehicle cleaner, longer during winter months, make sure to give your car a thorough wash and wax before the cold weather hits. Wax will help prevents oxidation from dulling and damaging your vehicle’s exterior. For best results, first use a product that will deep clean your vehicle’s exterior and remove any stubborn dirt and stains. Then select a long-lasting car wax, such as ICE® Liquid Wax, that can be applied to the entire exterior, including all metal, plastic and rubber surfaces, and will provide a protective barrier against road salt, snow and other inclement conditions.

Prepare the interior – Winter elements can also cause damage to the inside of your car. To prevent tracked-in mud, slush and snow from staining your interior, prep your vehicle with protective floor mats and clean with an interior product, such as ICE® Total Interior Care, which leaves behind a protective barrier against stains. Don’t forget to remove any water based products, which can freeze and crack during winter, as well as any unnecessary items that can weigh down your car and lower your fuel efficiency.

Check tires – Damaged tires are no match for sleek, slippery roads. Get tires winter-ready by first examining their tread for thin or uneven tread wear, which reduces traction and can be very dangerous in winter weather. Cut or damaged sidewalls are also weak areas that can collapse under severe weather conditions.  Remember to check the air pressure in your tires before and during winter months to ensure the best traction and mileage. Once your tires are in good shape, apply tire cleaner and protectant to help repel winter elements. Turtle Wax Platinum All-Wheel and Tire Cleaner eliminates harsh scrubbing – just spray on and hose off. It also contains wax, which adds a protective barrier against harsh weather conditions such as snow, ice, and more.

Check fluids – Maintaining proper fluid levels is critical to keeping your car working properly during the winter. A common mistake is forgetting to replace or top off summer windshield wiper fluid blends with winter blends that will not freeze when the temperature drops.  Check your antifreeze and oil levels to prevent internal damage to your car, and keep your gas tank at least halfway full to help prevent gas line freeze. Winter prep should also include an oil change, and adding a product like Marvel Mystery Oil to your vehicle’s crankshaft will keep the oil flowing freely when starting your car, even in below freezing conditions.

Always be prepared – Winter can be unpredictable, so don’t wait for the first snow fall to put the ice scraper and snow shovel in the car. Keep a winter emergency kit in the trunk in case of an accident or other bad weather situation. Recommended emergency items include a small first-aid kit, flashlight, blanket, gloves, road flares and cell phone or another communication device.

About Turtle Wax

Turtle Wax® is the world leader in car care with sales in over 90 countries. Founded more than 70 years ago in Chicago, Ill., the company is recognized for its continuous innovation in manufacturing appearance and performance car care products for the retail consumer market and the commercial car care and professional detailing industries. For more information, visit or follow Turtle Wax on Facebook and Twitter.

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