Is your car ready for winter?

By Olivia May 13, 2022

Depending on where you are in Australia right now, you might not think winter is a concern but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a challenging season for your car.

It’s vital that your vehicle is prepared for the winter months as cold weather driving poses safety concerns – so don’t get caught out in the cold – learn how to prepare your car for winter with these expert tips from Wipertech.

Our ultimate winter checklist covers 4 key areas:

Tyres > Battery > Windscreen > Lights
  1. Check your tyres
  2. Check your battery
  3. Winterise your windscreen
  4. Check exterior lights

Let’s get started!

1. Check your tyres

Tyre pressure

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Winter roads are wet, sleek and slippery. Not exactly the ideal driving conditions, a new set of quality tyres should be on the checklist.
There are three things you need to check with your tyres: pressure, tread and your spare tyre.

Tyre pressure

All tyres will have a maximum pressure written on the sidewall. Some European cars will have tyre pressure labels stuck to the driver's side B-pillar. Ensure your tyre pressure is correct for the amount of load you intend to carry.

How to check tyre pressure

An easy way to check is by using the gauge at the fuel station to read the pressure in your tyres and then top it up to the correct level.

Add or take out air accordingly. Check the owner manual if the tyre pressure sticker can not be found.

Tyre tread

Did you know that if your tyre tread depth reaches 3mm or less it can significantly reduce grip during wet road conditions?

Let's show you how to test your tread depth with a 20c coin.

Start by placing an Australian 20c coin into one of the central circumferential grooves of your tyre. If the tread doesn’t reach the bill of the platypus, your tyre has less than 3mm of tread remaining. It’s time for some new tyres.

Should you get winter tyres?

If you live in an area that sees a lot of snow, frost and ice, it is highly recommended that you consider swapping out your regular tyres for winter tyres. These tyres have deep treads that increase traction to keep the car from slipping in wet, snowy, icy conditions.

While most of Australia will not receive snowfall, there are some parts of the country where the mercury drops low enough to experience heavy snow. So, if you’re planning to take the family skiing in the alpine regions, you may want to think about upgrading your tyres.

Speaking of the alpine regions, regulations in VIC and NSW state that you must carry snow chains and you must be able to fit them when directed. There is no need to rush to buy snow chains; in most cases, you can hire them locally.

Top tip: Don’t forget to check the spare wheel's tyre pressure and tread depth. While checking the wheel, ensure the wheel lock nut and portable jack are in the car before heading out.

2. Check your battery

Image Battery

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Car batteries have a limited life. If you can’t remember the last time you checked your battery, you might want to do it soon. The lower the temperature, the harder the battery has to work to crank the engine over during those icy cold mornings.

An average car battery lasts for 5-7 years. If your battery is more than five years old, have it tested; replace it if you suspect it's getting weak.

Signs of a weak battery include slow cranking, headlights getting dim at idle and excessive corrosion around the battery terminals.

3. Winterise your windscreen

Winter in Australia is frequently wet, and this draws all the dirt and grime from the road surface onto your windscreen. This means you will be using your wipers and washer jets more frequently to see clearly.

Assuming your wipers are in good shape, there’s still a risk of them smearing grime across the windscreen. To ensure this does not happen to you, winterise your windscreen.

Step A: Inspect and replace your wiper blades.

It’s an awful feeling when you’re caught in a storm while driving with the family, and you can’t see anything because your wipers aren’t working as they should.

Fortunately, it’s simple to check and easy to replace if they’re worn out. The top 3 signs your wiper blades need replacing are:


Squeaking: your blades squeal with every stroke
Shuddering: smooth wipes have been replaced by shaky scrapes
Smearing: your wipers have stopped clearing and started smudging


If your front or rear wipers display any of these symptoms, it's best to replace them before winter gets here.

Image when to change your wiper

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For an entire run down, check out our guide on how to know if your wiper blades need replacing.

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Step B: Top up washer fluid

Open the windscreen washer bottle under the bonnet, and make sure it is topped up to the max fill indicator. Most auto retailers sell washer fluid in pre-mix or as a concentrate, which you will need to dilute with water. We recommend pre-mix washer fluid.


Washer fluid is essential in winter as the fluid has a lower freezing temperature than water, so if the weather ever gets freezing, the washer jets will still be operational.

4. Check exterior lights

It sounds like a no brainer and it is! as the winter months approach we will experience shorter days and cold foggy nights. Hence, ensuring all your exterior lights are functional is essential for any winter vehicle checklist.

- Headlights

- Fog lights

- Blinkers (indicators)

- Brake lights

- Hazard lights

- Reverse lights

Most petrol stations will not carry a large variety of headlight globes, but keeping a spare set of globes specific to your car might not be a bad idea. If you need to replace a bulb on the road, refer to your owner’s manual for complete instructions. If you don't have your user manual, you can always use the vehicle light selector tool.

Top tip: Switch on your hazard lights and walk around the car to quickly check if all your turn signals are working as they should.


So don't forget to drive safe and make sure your car is ready for winter by checking your...

Tyres > Battery > Windscreen > Lights
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Are the wipers you need out-of-stock or not shown here?

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Posted by
Olivia May 13, 2022
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