Hy, my friends.
Are you ready to organize your car and make it ready for winter? Yes, my tutorial will show you step by step how to make your car winterproof. Now you have more time to enjoy the winter, because you are prepared.
First of all, I extend this car organization a little bit more, because this is also the ideal time to clean your car and organize it some more, than only for winter.
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I must admit, that I do not clean my car weekly or monthly. Sorry! I think, I clean my car 4 times a year, but for summer and before winter, I do a very deep cleaning of my car, so are you ready to join me.
Oh, don’t forget I have a handy checklist for you on how to organize your car for winter.
1 Deep clean your car
The first thing, that you need to do is washing your car. You could do this at home, but I recommend going to a carwash for a deep clean of your car, because you are able to do a bottom wash of your car as well. Also, it is easier to wax your car, so your car is going to be more protected against dirt, salt and ice in the winter. And we are taking it a little bit further, so we are extra prepared for it.
Go to a carwash (bottom wash – wax)
To bottom wash your car, I went to a carwash nearby and I took the program with wax and bottom wash. I don’t know if it really helps, but I want to believe so. The wax will give your car a layer that protects it a little bit more against dirt, ice, salt in the winter.
The bottom wash will give your car an extra nice, clean start when driving in winter times.
I also went to a carwash, because my car is cleaner using a carwash, than I wash it myself and it saves me also a lot of time.
Clean out your car (the inside of your car)
Empty your car
Now it’s time to start by cleaning your car on the inside. Pick everything out of your car that belongs in a trash can.
Lay out everything, that you still need, but doesn’t belong in a car, so when you come home, you can put it on the correct places.
Take a look around and see what you have and still need to buy. Look also around, maybe you need another organization solution for your car to help you stay organized.
Wipe down your car
It’s time to clean the windows on the inside and also your interior. I did this also at the carwash, because they are giving me products included in the program.
Vacuum your car
The next step is to vacuum your car and also this time I use the vacuum cleaner of the carwash, because it’s more convenient and stronger than the one at home.
Yes, I’m a lazy person.
I have a really old car and sometimes my sweater and jackets give some “hairs” into the seat. Also my car seat is really old, because the seat is coming off. That’s why I do an extra clean with a brush for clothes, so the little hairs will stick to it. It’s not completely hair free, but it’s much more cleaner this way.
Do a car maintenance
Ok, so your car is clean, but not organized yet. First, we need to check if your car is working fine and make it ready for winter. So do the following check ups
Go to a garage
If you notice that something is not working correctly in your car and you are not sure it’s safe to drive. Go to your garage and do a check-up and let them fix the problems.
It is easier and more pleasant to do before winter is starting.
So plan an appointment at your garage.
Check your battery
My husband is really handy so the following things he takes care for me at home, but if you are not able to do this, please let it check at your garage.
Check if your battery is still working fine, because as you are well known they have a rough time during winter.
Check your lights
Check if your lights are correctly measured and working fine.
What I do extra to prepare my car lights for winter is to clean my lights with toothpaste, because they get dull and now they have their shiny glaze back. I think it is an old car thing. : )
Check your fluids
During the winter months, it is obviously colder, and this can adapt your fluids, they become thicker than normal.
Check if you have enough fluids, like oil and wiper spray with anti-freeze solution and even now the cooling system fluid (you already started, right), so check them all and refill.
It is not so cold now, so it is easier to do this stuff now.
Check your tires
OK, it is not obligated in Belgium to have winter tires. But I really recommend them. I have a really small car and without these tires, I am slipping a lot of times on the road, because it is so lightweight and with my winter tires, I do not have that problem anymore. Or not as much as before.
If you do not need winter tires, also no problem, but make sure that they are checked as well before winter is starting. You don’t want to stand next to a road, because you have flat tire, during winter months. We try to avoid these problems.
Also check, if you are still having a spare tire in your car. I admit, even if I have a spare tire, I probably will call my dad or my husband if I have that issue, but it reassures me, that I have it on hand.
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Check your wipers
Check your wipers, it is really important, because they a heavy task during winter time. More chance on ice and rain and it’s really necessary to have a clear sight in these dark days.
Obligated by law
Check that you have everything on hand, that is obligated by law in your car. The examples that I gave you are for the Belgium legislation, but please check your own.
Please, make sure a fire extinguisher is set in your car. Also check the date, because it has an expire date and you will not pass the obligatory car inspection (Belgium law) if it is expired.
If you do not know how it works, check the instructions again to remember it again. It is not so hard, but it will give you piece in mind, if you know how it works. That if something happens you can stay cool in your head.
A fluorescent jacket is also obligatory by the Belgium law and it is needed if your car broke down.
You need to wear it, if you go outside your vehicle when you have problems on the road. For example, if you are going to set a warning triangle.
A warning triangle is necessary in your car, because if your car will not start and you need to get to the side of road, you need to set this warning triangle a couple of meters before your car, to warn other drivers.
You will need necessary board documents for your car, but we will discuss this in the next chapter.
You will need to have this in your car, it will be good in a lot of situations. We hope you will not use it, but better safe than sorry.
Organize your car administration
Now is also a good time, to check your paperwork for your car. What is necessary and handy to have. (Based on Belgium law)
The green card: issued by your insurer. This card proves that your car is insured in accordance with the law. You need to have a new paper every year.
Papers of past years, you do not have to keep in your car, just for this year. And change it every year.
The registration certificate: this is provided by the DIV and proves that your car is legally registered.
The inspection certificate: this proves that the vehicle complies with the technical inspection (only for vehicles more than 4 years old).
The certificate of conformity: this is given to you by the manufacturer of your car and confirms that the car meets the required standards.
Also, put the number of your insurance company at your reach, that when you are in trouble or an accident, you have it ready and you do not have to search it anymore.
More car administration
European accident form: that you will need if you have an accident. A tip, Fill in the details of your side like insurance number and name beforehand. Then when an accident happens, you have them already filled out and you can focus on the accident itself, so you are one step ahead of the other person.
Manuals: I also keep the basic manual in the compartment glove and the thicker one in my trunk, because it was too thick for the compartment glove.
Car assistance card: If you want extra insurance on the road, you can sign up for Touring assistance.
Do you need ideas for your next winter party? Check out the following blogpost.
Standard organization of your car
You could use the compartments of your car to organize your stuff, but I bought a car organizer to make it more convenient for me. I also used a shoebox as an extra organization compartment.
You don’t have to do this explicit for winter, but I find it is handy to have in all kind of situations. And when we are deep cleaning our car, it is also time to organize the basic car stuff.
Little garbage bags
I use them for my trash in the car. I know that I need to get back in the habit of cleaning it out, every time I come home, but I’m already sure that is not a working solution for me at the moment.
I use them now for the parts where you can set your drinks, because it will contain the dirst and dust in there instead of in the compartments and it is easier to clean afterwards.
In the winter I have the problem that the hairs of my cloths will get stuck in the car seating and with this tool, I can clean it up.
If you have kids, this is always handy. Also when you are in a traffic jam, you can take the time and clean your dashboard.
I need a towel in winter times, because I have an old car, my windows freeze also on the inside and I can get if off with a towel. But even if my daughter is eating on the backseat, she can use it.
General safety, if you are in trouble, you can crack the glass open in no time.
General safety, if you are in trouble, you can make yourself loose if your seatbelt get jammed.
A telephone charger will come in handy every time.
Make sure you always have a bottle of water in your car. Try not to use plastic, not only for the environment, but also for the taste.
Have snacks on hand, not only if you have trouble with your car, but for a really quick snack for you and your kids when you need to juggle that day.
Pen and Paper
This is always handy for vary different reasons.
Fuel card and park card
Always convenient to have them in your car, so you will not forget them when you need it.
Entertainment for you and your kids
My daughter is a little bit older, so I have some books on hand. Also, when you are in car trouble you have something on hand while waiting for help.
Also, music cd’s I have standard in my car. Especially the CD’s for my daughter.
A GPS is a very handy item to have, but I use my smartphone for this.
Tissues I use a lot in the car and comes in handy in various situations
Gloves and rainjacket
Winter organization of your car
Now, the following things I have always extra in my car, when I know the winter is coming. They are really helpful to have on hand and makes your life so much easier.
In Belgium, we have a lot of rainy days, so I put it now in the side door of me. Now it is easy to grab.
I don’t think I will need a thermal blanket really soon, but it only costs 2 euros, so If you’re stuck during a heavy snowfall, you will be glad you have it on hand.
Of course, you need anti-freeze spray for your windows. I can’t live without it. Even if my car is in the garage at home, still if I’m leaving work, I still need it.
See the above description, but you definitely need an ice scraper on hand in your car.
I have a really old car, so jumper cables come in handy several times during winter for me. If you do not know how they work, please check it out now. They make sure that If another car is in the neighborhood, they can help you start your car back if you have a battery problem.
Extra protection for my windows, when I can not store my car in the garage. It will save me a lot of time in the morning.
The days are darker and colder, so a flashlight is very handy to have when you have trouble in the evening, which is mostly the case when you come back from work or go to work.
A nice shelter for your car, maybe a carport or garage or maybe just a car cover? Think about a solution.
Extra for hard winters
- Snow tires
I hope you liked this guide and do not forget to print the checklist, so you can easy organize your car for winter.