Sure, you’ve got the legendary quattro® AWD system on your Audi, but does that mean your car is ready for winter? While an all-wheel drive system is important (along with snow tires!), your winter preparation shouldn’t stop at just relying on the great Audi engineering that came from the factory. Winter brings cold temperatures and snow, which typically results in sand or salt on the roads to prevent the roads from freezing, and that can wreak havoc on your car. Being a detail freak who is obsessed with keeping my ~10 year old car looking showroom new, below are my tips and recommendations to help your car make it to Spring looking fresh; if these steps don’t appeal to you, you could do what I did and move to Southern California instead and avoid winter weather completely.
All-Weather / Rubber Floormats
When it snows your shoes or boots track in snow, as well as the dirt underneath it, into your car. A waterproof floor mat will protect the carpet underneath, as well as make it a lot easier to clean-out after a ski trip or particularly dirty passenger. Weathertech is known as being the best in the industry and they make custom-fit floor mats for most recent Audi models, which makes them a no-brainer – they also happen to sponsor a championship-winning Audi R8 LMS car, so you’re supporting a company that supports the brand.
Full Interior & Exterior Detail (with Sealant)
Invest in a full detail (or better yet, DIY one) before the winter weather hits, and finish it off with a coat of sealant that will protect the paint and repel snow/rain/ice, etc. This will keep your paint in tact and the wax coupled with a good quality sealant will last all winter long. Be sure not to cut any corners and start with a good clay bar to remove all of the contaminants first, as you don’t want to seal anything into the paint that might harm it. This winter detailing guide from DetailedImage.com is pretty good if you want to really go to town on this step, if not a standard exterior detail of wash > clay bar > wash > medium cut polish > finishing wax > sealant should do the trick for your paint, plus your interior cleaner of choice for the interior (I like 303 Aerospace protectant).
Anti-Frost Windshield Fluid Fluid
This may or may not be necessary depending on how cold the temperatures get by you, but there are several “high-end” windshield fluids out there that will help de-ice your windshield faster, as well as help prevent streaks and grime on your windshield which helps both with safety as well as looks. Check out Einszett Anti-Frost Washer fluid for that!
Battery Jumper Cables or Power Pack
The last thing you want is to get stranded without power, so make sure you have a set of jumper cables or even a portable power pack like the Weego or Cobra JumPack so that if you’re in a pinch you can jump your car and not have to wait hours for a tow truck or AAA to come. Check out Jump Starter Lab for a comprehensive list of options to buy and store in your car – you can thank me later for this one! If its been a while since you’ve gotten a new battery, you might want to head over to a local Pep Boys (or brand of choice) and have them check the life of your battery to make sure it’s not about to die, as cold temperatures will accelerate it’s death as batteries don’t like extreme temperatures in either direction. If your battery is on its way out, it might be a good excuse to upgrade to something like an Optima Red or Yellow top depending on how many cold cranking amps you need.