Around this time of year they spring up like mushrooms again: the tips for winterizing your car.

Is that something from the past, or should we still arm the modern car against King Winter?

And if so, how do you best do that?

A cloth for the grille, the air supply of the carburettor on winter position and a lighter in your pocket to defrost your door lock.

Decades ago, caring family men were busy preparing the car for winter on the first Saturday of the winter.

But with the winter of 2021/2022 on the horizon, is it also necessary to prepare ultramodern, semi-autonomous cars for freezing cold and dirt? "Certainly", says Pieter de Porto, car information source at ANWB Experts. "Many modern cars are equipped with driver assistance systems, such as adaptive cruise control and lane assistant. They work with cameras and sensors. Due to dirt, they cannot do their job properly, so that the driver assistance is switched off," says De Porto.

"It can be a bit of a shock if the assistance suddenly disappears while driving and a message appears on the dashboard. Of course you can continue driving. In addition, it is extra important with xenon and LED headlights that you keep them clean. Dirty lamps give stray light. , that with such bright headlights can quickly dazzle oncoming traffic."

Don't apply your handbrake: evergreen that is still current

The old tip not to apply the handbrake after parking in frosty weather still partly applies.

"More and more cars have an electric handbrake," explains De Porto.

"It works with an electric motor on the rear brake discs and it cannot freeze."

“In winter, the Wegenwacht often has to turn out for battery failure in cars parked for a long time.”

Pieter de Porto, ANWB Experts

"But if you still have a cable-operated handbrake, it is certainly wise not to use it," advises the ANWB expert.

"There is moisture in the cables and this freezes, causing the inner cable to get stuck. To prevent the car from rolling away, you can place a chock or a brick against the wheel."

Manual transmission cars can of course also be left in gear, most automatic gearboxes can be blocked by putting it in the P position.

The battery has a tough winter if you don't go on the road much

Now that working from home is recommended, many cars are standing still more.

Does that require preventive measures in winter?

"In the winter months, the Roadside Assistance often has to turn out for battery failure in cars parked for a long time", De Porto knows.

"It's a shame, because that disruption is easy to prevent."

"When in doubt, you can have your battery tested preventively by the Wegenwacht or the garage. In the winter, it is wise to take a ride of about fifteen to twenty minutes every week to maintain the battery condition, for example to do your shopping. Then switch on as few consumers as possible, such as the rear window heating or air conditioning."

Winter check at the dealer: free or for little

At many garages you can have a winter check carried out for a few tens or sometimes yourself for free.

A mechanic checks the car for vital points, such as lighting, windshield washer fluid, tire profile and battery condition.

But is that also necessary now that many cars are already communicating their condition online with the garage autonomously?

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Jeroen Maas, PR manager for the Opel and DS brands: "It is true that the models, equipped with Connected Services, automatically receive a warning when it is time for maintenance or when a part needs attention. However, the winter check is an excellent time to to have the car checked preventively and to talk to the dealer about, for example, changing to winter tires. We check the car on 29 points. Free, because we want our customers to drive safely."

Frozen charging cables in electric cars: it happens

There are some extra tips for an electric car.

Of course, when planning your trip, you should take into account that you will get less far on a battery charge in cold weather and that you will have to charge more often or longer.

A battery simply performs less well in the cold.

“Make sure the charging point of the electric car is dry and free of melting snow.

You wouldn't be the first to have a frozen charging cable."

To get as many kilometers as possible from your battery, you can switch on the interior heating with a timer or via the app while the car is still parked.

So you don't have to scratch.

There are also very practical things to keep in mind.

For example, make sure that the charging point of the electric car is dry and free of melting snow.

You wouldn't be the first with a frozen charging cable.

Also, with some Teslas, the locking of the charging cable does not work in freezing weather.

This should prevent you from being able to pull the cable out due to a frozen locking mechanism, but it does make the cable extra vulnerable to theft or vandalism.

More tips about driving in the winter can be found on AutoWeek.

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