JK's Guide to Winter VW Care

Tips on Tucking your VW in for the Winter

Rust Protection

This is the ideal opportunity to think about undertaking some rust prevention on your car or bus to keep it in tip top condition. We have a range of products from Noxudol and Waxoyl for ultimate rust prevention.

Keep it Clean

It might seem obvious to some, but it’s really important that you give your vehicle a really thorough clean before you store it away. This will ensure that there’s no salt or other corrosive materials sticking to your vehicle that will nibble away at it over the winter.

Giving it a really good clean inside and out will also mean that you don’t have to scrub it in the spring, when there’s enough cleaning going on already.

Once you have washed your VW take it for a 5-minute dry drive to make sure water has come out of all the nooks and crannies so it will not be sat there potentially causing corrosion whilst in storage.

Check your fluids

Fuel – This has divided opinion amongst many people, there is an argument that a fuel tank should remain empty as the fuel can degrade over time. However, some say it is wise to fill your VW to the brim to prevent rusting in the fuel tank when it is left empty. Answer’s on a postcard! Whichever side of the fence you land on; remember to give the car a good run when it is the start of the season again.

Oil - Check your oil is topped up to the recommended level. If it is really dirty you might want to change it although we tend to wait until the start of the season when you are taking your vehicle out of storage to service our VW’s. We have a range of service kits if you do want to undertake this job before storage.

Anti-Freeze - If you’ve got a water-cooled Volkswagen, then make sure you’ve got the correct anti-freeze in your VW. Each vehicle requires a slightly different formula and using the wrong one can cause damage to your engine.

If you’re in doubt as to which to use, check your owner’s manual or give the JK Team a call.

Battery Maintenance

We advise you top up the water in your battery and give it a full charge. It is then recommended that you disconnect your battery or, if possible, you can use our trickle charger to keep your battery toped up and maintained over the winter months.

If you do have a problem next year then you can use our portable jump pack to get things started again.

Tyres

With fluctuating temperatures, tyre pressures can vary so we advise you pop your car on axle stands with the tyres raised slightly off the ground to prevent damage to the tyres. Alternatively, if you do not have axle stands increase the pressure to prevent flat spots developing but ensure you remember to put the correct pressure when you start using your VW next year!

Keep it covered

Whether you’re keeping your vehicle on the road or you’re stashing it somewhere for a few months, a good quality vehicle cover is a great investment. The cover will keep off the rain, snow and ice that might accumulate overnight, so if you’re still using your vehicle regularly you won’t have to clear your windows, and if you’re storing your vehicle away you’ll have a lot less to fear from rust and corrosion. Take at the JK range of vehicle covers.

Ventilation

Leaving your vehicle in storage over the winter can, under certain conditions, lead to moisture building up and then mould (or even mushrooms!) developing inside. We’ve seen it happen, and we wouldn’t wish it on anyone else... Another way to get around this is moisture traps, which work really well.

Make sure you roll the windows down a little before you say your final goodbye to your beloved VW until the spring. We have cab window air vents which provide more secure ventilation for your VW and help to prevent rodent infestation which can cause a huge amount of damage to your interior and electrics.

Don’t let it roll away

If you are leaving your VW with the tyres on the ground, ensure it is out of gear and the handbrake is off. To stop any movement (hopefully it is unlikely if the floor/ground is level) use chocks or our levelling chocks to prevent any movement.

Security

For some extra piece of mind, we advise using a security product to prevent your VW disappearing whilst being stored. JK has a range of security products including pedal locks, wheel clamps and gear stick locks to stop you worrying.

Insurance

We recommend you keep your vehicle insured whilst you are storing it. It is possible to lower your cover when storing your VW but make sure you are covered for at least Fire, Theft and Natural Disasters. Just Kampers Insurance are happy to help you with this.

Advice on Driving your VW Through the Winter

If you are continuing to drive your VW over winter, it is wise to keep an eye on a few things to make sure you have a problem free winter. Here are some of our top tips for safe winter preparation.

There’s a lot to be said for keeping your VW tucked up snug as a bug over the winter, but the humble Beetle is actually great in the snow, and classic campervans don’t fare too badly, either!

A lot of us keep our VWs on the road all year long, so here are a few tips from us on keeping you and your Volkswagens safe and in top shape throughout the winter months.

Check Your Bulbs!

We’ve put light bulbs first on the list because it’s so often overlooked.

JK HQ is right out in the sticks, which is great for us because we can host the JK Open Day, and make loads of noise in our on-site workshop, but during the winter it is amazingly dark out here and the roads can get scary. Having the proper bulbs is so, so important. Check that they’re all working properly, make sure you’ve got spares, and, if you can, consider upgrading them to halogen.

Winter is dark, and foggy, and rainy, and snowy, so being able to see and be seen will keep you, your loved ones and your VW safe.

Tyres

Are your tyres in good shape? Do they have a proper tread pattern for dealing with snow and ice? Is the tread depth okay? Make sure they’re at the right pressure, too, as this can make a huge difference in winter.

Fog Lights

Seriously. Fog lights. If you don't have them, maybe consider installing a pair. If you have them, check them; make sure the bulbs are working, the fuses are fine and that the switches work. They're great for those foggy winter evenings when road edges and surprise tight corners are just a little harder to see.

Yellow spotlights are a real help in winter (and they look cool all year round). Yellow light operates at a longer wavelength which is more comfortable for our retinas. It helps penetrate through mist and fog by reducing glare and adding definition, allowing you to see further in poor conditions while also being less tiring on the eye.

External Thermo Screens

They might look a bit weird, but a good set of external thermo screens can save a load of time each morning!

Simply applied over the cab windows and windscreen, they’ll stop ice from forming or snow from settling, which means that you won’t have to clear the windscreen every day, which is probably the worst part of winter, right?

Last but not Least...

Pop a torch, a blanket, some gloves and a hat in the glove box or under the rear seats, just so you’ve got them if you do break down. It’s saved us more than once!


 

If you’ve got something cool planned for your Volkswagen this winter, whether it’s a road trip or a restoration, we’d love to see!

Get in touch with us and you could feature in a JK World blog, or on our Facebook page.