young woman driving car at night in winter rain

Top Tips for Protecting Your Car from Winter Weather


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The winter season is hard for all of us, including our cars. Protecting your car from winter means taking extra care around rain, sleet and frost. While most of us don’t have to contend with tons of snow and none of us -20 degree temperatures, we do have other considerations.

For instance, Australians have to think about salty coastal air and how that, combined with winter moisture, can corrode vehicles. We also have to seriously consider how we drive in wet road conditions – or don’t! – especially with the recent heavy rains and floods.

5 ways to protect your car from winter

Luckily, a bit of cold and wet weather doesn’t have to get the better of you and your car. Protecting your car from winter weather is mostly a matter of good preparation.

So, let’s have a look at what you can do to keep your car in tip top shape until the summer months arrive.

1. Use a garage

Of course, using a garage is one of the easiest ways to protect your car from winter elements. If you have one, make use of it. Even if that means clearing out the old kids toys and furniture you’ve collected over the years.

However, even when you have a garage you still need to regularly check the conditions inside it. Read why in our article on how to look after your car when not driving.

If you don’t have access to a garage or covered parking at all, there are other steps you can take (aside from getting yourself a car hail protector)…

2. Protect your car windshield from winter

You know winter has really hit when your windscreen starts icing over in the mornings. Not only is it inconvenient to have to pour litres of hot water over it or sit and wait for ages with the aircon on until it’s clear, it can also be damaging. That might not sound too bad but windscreen damage can be very dangerous.

Investing in a simple windscreen cover (or even an old towel) will stop the winter ice and protect your car’s glass from possible cracking due to the change in temperatures.

On top of that, leave your wiper blades up when you park. It makes the de-frosting job easier, and prevents damage to your wipers during removal. Oh, AND it keeps your wipers from freezing to your windshield.

Close up of hand using scraper to take ice off car windscreen. Using a windscreen cover can protect your car from winter ice and snow

3. Don’t skip the shampoo and wax

Ever been tempted to skip washing your hair in winter because it’s cold and wet? Regardless of your personal grooming choices, what we do suggest for protecting your car from winter is regular washes. And waxes. It might sound counterintuitive but there are a couple of reasons for it.

Firstly, road salt and sea salt can damage your car so regular washing helps limit corrosion. Then of course there’s the fact that a wintery wet car can quickly build up grime and mud on the head and taillights, side mirrors, windscreen, and so on.

Regular washing makes your car more visible to other motorists and helps you see more clearly too.

Ideally, you want to do a thorough wash before the worst of winter hits. After that’s done, you can apply a good quality wax. This will protect your car from winter weather and moisture for a couple of months.

If you want to protect the paint even further, you can get specific products for this. They’re called paint protection films and will help to seal your car’s paintwork off from the outside elements. Using wax essentially creates a protective barrier between the paint and winter hazards like frost, mud, and grime.

The best car waxes for winter can protect your car for up to three months. Just make sure to get a jump start and wax your car before the worst weather hits—washing and waxing a car isn’t easy or fun in freezing temperatures.

You may even want to consider doing a bit of DIY car scratch repair to help keep the elements out too.

jump starter cable clips attached to car battery

4. Prepare for battery issues

Hopefully, your car will cruise through winter with no issues. However, cold weather is known to cause battery issues. On bad days, your car might struggle to start. You know, just like how we don’t always want to get going on a cold morning!

Why is this? To get the engine started on a cold day, the battery has to work harder than in warm weather due to the increased amps drawn by the starter.

To protect your car from winter starting issues, you might want to invest in a portable jump starter.

5. Check your tyres

Having your tyres in good condition is always important. But doubly so when it comes to protecting yourself and your car from winter. Tyres which are too worn down or aren’t inflated to the correct tyre pressure are dangerous in all conditions, but even more so if the road is wet or icy.

Plus, your car insurer may void a claim if your tyres weren’t roadworthy when you had an accident.

close up of car tyre in wet winter rain

Making winter driving a breeze with insurance

Aussies may be a nation of sun and sand lovers, but there’s no avoiding the need for winter driving. Whether you’re more likely to be dealing with mud and flooding or slippery, frosty roads, being prepared is key to protecting your car from winter.

And for the times when things don’t go to plan despite all the preparation in the world, your comprehensive car insurance will be there to help. Why not take a couple of minutes to see what you can save with PD Insurance today?

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