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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > Winterize your car



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      09-20-2010, 11:35 AM   #1
TOGWT
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Winterize your car



Vehicle Mechanical Preparation

• Engine Performance - Get engine driveability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good repair shop. Cold weather makes existing problems worse. Replace dirty filters-air, fuel, PCV, etc.

• Fuel - Put a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a month to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line. Note that a gas tank which is kept filled helps keep moisture from forming.

Diesel - Like most fuels, diesel is a mix of hydrocarbons, and the components have different freezing points. For Number 2 diesel, as the ambient temperatures drop toward 32 degrees F (0 degrees C), it begins to cloud, due to the paraffin in the fuel solidifying. As the temperatures drop below 32 F, the molecules combine into solids, large enough to be stopped by the filter. This is known as the gel point, and generally occurs about 15 degrees F (-9.5 degrees C) below the cloud point.

This wax then forms a coating on the filter which results in a loss of engine power. The same thing happens on starting an engine when the temperature is below freezing. The filter becomes almost instantly coated with wax - usually, enough fuel gets through to allow the engine to idle, but not attain operating RPM. There are two common ways to overcome this: one is a diesel additive, the other is a fuel heater

Special low temperature diesel contains additives that keep it in a more liquid state at lower temperatures, yet starting a diesel engine in very cold weather may still pose considerable difficulties.


• Oil - Change oil with suitable winter rating and oil filter as specified in your manual -- more often (every 3,000 miles or so) if your driving is mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips. Change oil with suitable winter rating and change oil filter

• Cooling System - The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled as recommended. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.)

Vehicle Mechanical Preparation (Engine, Fuel and cooling system care) as recommended by ASE

• Glass weatherproofing seals - use 1z einszett Vinyl Rubber Care & Potectant "Tiefenpfleger” provides a temperature-resistant seal and a low-shine matte finish

• Windshield Wipers - Use the right windscreen fluid; together with proper wipers, an antifreeze solution will keep your windscreen clean at all times Replace old blades. If your climate is harsh, purchase rubber-clad (winter) blades to fight ice build-up. If your wipers are frozen in place, leave them to defrost or use a de-icer, pulling them off can rip the rubber.

Rain-X Latitude wipers work any better than my clunky original equipment blades. Well, yes they do. First of all, they don’t freeze up and warp out of shape. We’ve had temperatures down to minus-25 Celsius in Ottawa lately, and the Rain-X wipers have held their shape. They also don’t chatter at speed, although I have heard from some colleagues that similar designs do. These seem fine as they also don’t get packed with snow and ice, and should, therefore, obviate the need for purchasing winter blades.

• Apply an anti-fogging’ product to windscreen; Glass Science Fog Clear Gel prevents interior fogging of the windshield, windows, and mirrors. One clear coat creates a moisture absorbent barrier that prevents the formation of condensation. Maintain optimum visibility in humid, rainy, or cold weather conditions, Fog Clear keeps working to maintain optimum visibility. Stock up on windshield washer solvent-you'll be surprised how much you use

• Heater/Defroster - Test heater, rear screen defrosters and hoses the heater and defroster must be in good working condition for passenger comfort and driver visibility. Carry an ice-scraper.

• Battery - The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care: Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check fluid level monthly. Removal of cables can cause damage or loss of data/codes on some newer vehicles. Check your manual.

Have your battery and its charging system checked (‘jump’ leads may be useful for you, or to help someone else)

• Automatic battery charger - The Yuasa Smart Shot automatic battery chargers are available in 900 milliamp and 1.5 amp charge capacities Automatic 12V 900 milliamp and 1.5 amp charge capacities ;fully automatic 3 level charge cycle for effective charging, reaches 14.4 volt peak, then automatically switches to float, with reverse polarity protection

• Lights - Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean road grime from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.

• Exhaust System - Your vehicle should be placed on a lift and the exhaust system examined for leaks. The trunk and floor boards should be inspected for small holes. Exhaust fumes can be deadly.

• Tyres - Worn tyres will be of little use in winter weather. Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check tyre pressures once a month. Let the tyre "cool down" before checking the pressure. Rotate as recommended. Don't forget your spare, and be sure the lifting jack is in good condition.

Towequipe Multi Grip Snow Ice Sock Chains - http://www.towequipe.co.uk/categoryl...w-chains-sock/

• Brakes - your brakes; if the brakes are not performing well, the car may pull to one side when stopping.

• WeatherTech™ rubber floor mats or Husky Liners WeatherBeater™ are available for most popular vehicles

Notes:
1. Take along emergency supplies; ice scraper, gloves, sand and snow shovel in trunk, foil blanket, its construction maintains body heat in emergency situations plus a good flashlight, battery jump leads are also indispensable.
2. If you are storing your vehicle for the winter see article “Vehicle Long-Term Storage”
3. Winter detailing - the vehicle’s paint system, tyres, glass, plastic and other exterior surfaces will be at the mercy of the elements, including wind, rain, sleet, snow, sand, gravel, and road salt. Autumn is your best opportunity to inspect and prepare your car for the ravages of winter, by providing the exterior paint system with a polymer or acrylic protective layer to provide a durable protection. Your car's paint, tires, leather and rubber trim all need attention, even if you have cared for them all summer.


Washing your vehicle in winter

Optimum No Rinse™ Wash & Shine (ONR) is an innovative product that protects automotive paint, while preserving our most valuable resource, water; enabling you to wash your car anywhere, anytime even inside your garage. It’s a multi-purpose product that serves as a shampoo additive, no rinse wash, quick detailer and clay lubricant.
Use as a winter car wash or in areas that have hosepipe ban, water usage restrictions, or where a water supply is not readily available (apartments, car shows, etc; cleans and protects while minimising water usage, 100% environmentally safe and it reduces water usage to a fraction of a conventional car wash, 1- oz ONR per 2- gallons of water to wash the entire car.

When sprayed on a dirty surface; surfactants break down the soil by releasing its surface tension or bond with the surface, encapsulating the soil particles, and the polymers provide surface lubrication to enable safe (marring free) removal

(For further information see the technical article “Rinseless Car Wash”)


Paint Protection / Detailing

Apply a paint protection sealant (Aquartz or Zaino) and then an LSP for extreme conditions (Collinite's Super Doublecoat Auto Wax (476s) and / or Insulation Wax (845) or Finish Kare FK1000P)- use a damp applicator, work the wax into the surface to ensure a very thin layer, allow to dry for approx one hour (do a swipe-test) remove the residue with a clean micro fibre towel, its durable enough to resist salt, grit and repeated detergent washings, protection will last approximately 4-6 months

Apply dressing to the interior surfaces (especially leather upholstery) Clean and vacuum the carpets Install all-weather floor mats; Weathertech ™ Premium all-weather floor mats, made from natural heavy-duty rubber., Deeply sculpted channels that trap Water, Road Salt, Mud, and Sand, designed with anti-skid ridges to prevent shifting, won't curl, crack, or harden in sub-zero weather, with non stick finish for quick and easy cleanup, TUV Approved, manufactured to ISO 9000 Standards, 10-Year Warranty

Clean, treat, and dress your tyres and apply a wheel surface sealant. After removing road salt, dirt, road grime, and etc with a pressure washer (Karcher Model K5.93M) neutralise the effects of the alkaline sprayed brine solution on the suspension, wheel wells and the undercarriage, and then spray Eastwoods Road Salt Neutralizer

Spray the inner wheel wells with Chemical Guys ‘Bare Bones’ spray it on sub frame, springs, wheel wells, fender wells, etc. and it provides valuable protection from road dirt, road salt, etc.

Alternative product - Innovative Chemicals Inc. SaltX - http://www.salt-x.com/salt-x3.htm

Products-

1. Intro-Tech Automotive Snow Shades protect your windshield with four frost-stopping layers. Keep your windshield clear and ice-free during the coldest of winter seasons. Outer clear coating, silver aluminium foil film and mesh lining stops snowflakes from collecting. And, a black vinyl inner layer snuggles your glass to keep it from freezing. Plus, these snow shades are custom-made to cover every inch. Easy to store, just roll it up into its convenient carrying case and toss in your trunk or back seat. And, you can enjoy your snow shades for many chilly seasons to come - Intro-Tech backs them with a Lifetime Warranty

2. Ice Remover-strong enough to rip through thick ice, The Ice Master removes ice four ways! The patent pending design features repositionable blades that lock into different positions to suit the job at hand. Clear hard ice, thick ice, frost, and snow with this ingenious windshield ice scraper.
Three deburred brass blades effectively remove ice from windows and mirrors without scratching. Hard polycarbonate teeth break thick ice. The Ice Master is made with gloved hands in mind. Each position can be achieved with a simple push or pull motion

3. Stratmosphere Ultimate Snowbrush - this new innovation finally brings you the technology you need to save your car's finish this winter. It has Genuine Boar's hair bristles that stay firm, even when wet so it’s kinder to paint finishes than any other snowbrush. Prior to the Ultimate Snowbrush you have probably damaged your finish by using synthetic-based (plastic) snowbrushes that leave all sorts of scratches and swirl-marks on your finish (stratmosphere ultimate snowbrush)

4. Sno Brum - is a telescoping squeegee that removes snow from the windshield without scratching: clearing snow off the windshield is just part of the challenge; the rest of the car carries a heavy blanket of snow that obscures vision, blocks the radiator, and covers taillights. And on my 4x4, a foot of snow can pile up on the roof, creating a hazard for following vehicles. Using a snow brush in one direction only, remove the bulk of the snow accumulation leaving perhaps a ¼- inch of snow on the paints surface, then let the remaining snow melt from the heat from the vehicle

5. The Ice Master removes ice four ways! The patent pending design features repositionable blades that lock into different positions to suit the job at hand. Clear hard ice, thick ice, frost, and snow with this ingenious windshield ice scraper.
Three deburred brass blades effectively remove ice from windows and mirrors without scratching. Hard polycarbonate teeth break thick ice. The Ice Master is made with gloved hands in mind. Each position can be achieved with a simple push or pull motion

6. WeatherTech® Classic™ Premium - winter car mats, rubber floor mats made out of natural heavy-duty rubber These all-weather mats have deeply sculpted channels designed to trap water, road salt, mud and sand. Made of up to 16 lbs. of pliable natural rubber, these mats won't curl, crack or harden in sub-zero weather. They also have anti-skid ridges to prevent shifting in your vehicle and come with a protective, non-stick finish to make cleanup quick and easy. They meet FMVSS302 standards; TUV approved and comply with ISO 9001 standards Colours available- black (with red pinstripe), Tan or Grey

(Dry) Salt is inert but be aware that once you add water ( by meting the snow / ice ) to salt it becomes alkaline pH 9.0 (corrosive) take care to dry the affected area thoroughly after the salt has been removed and neutralize it with an mild acid

Removing (Carpets / Mats) Road Salt Stains

Use a stiff brush to dislodge any loose road salt and then vacuum, spray the area with a carpet cleaner and let it soak in, rinse with plenty of water and repeat until most of the stain has been lifted. Finally clean carpets by spraying the area with a carpet shampoo rinse and then remove with a carpet extractor. Actually, any mildly acidic product should neutralize alkaline salt

Removing Road Salt from Paintwork

ValuGard Decontamination System (B) alkaline neutralizer (pH 1.0) that is a blend of acids, which deep cleans painted surfaces to remove alkaline road salt / water solution deposits (pH 9.0) and safely dissolves salt particles bond with the paint so that they can be rinsed away. Apply to a clean and freshly rinsed surface. Allow product to dwell for 5-7 minutes, works well with detailer’s clay to remove contaminants. All necessary safety precautions should be taken whilst using this product. Protect paint surface with a synthetic polymer sealant Collinite's Insulation Wax (845) or Finish Kare FK1000P

Undercarriage

Your vehicle’s undercarriage; it’s what you don't see that silently awaits underneath your cars. Removing an alkaline sprayed brine solution to protect your undercarriage is just as important as detailing the paint. Wheel wells, sub-frame, springs, fender well and all of the other black and gray parts underneath the body need cleaning and protection as well. It is possible to do this detail with the wheels on and just jacking the car up, but the ideal way is with the wheels off.

Never go underneath a car supported by the supplied jack - always use axle stands if you wish to work underneath the car. Always jack the car up at the manufacturer's recommended jacking points. Ensure the jack is in stable contact with both the jacking point (see owner's manual) and the ground. Always work on level ground.

After removing road salt, dirt, road grime, and etc with a pressure washer (Karcher Model K5.93M) neutralise the effects of the alkaline sprayed brine solution on the suspension, wheel wells and the undercarriage, and then spray Eastwoods Road Salt Neutralizer

Methodology
1. Thoroughly spray an undiluted citrus cleaner (P2IS Total Auto Wash) and let it soak in; remove by thoroughly rinsing with water. If you have a pressure washer available, fill tank with citrus cleaner and spray undercarriage (do not use excess pressure as water may penetrate crevices and seams where it cannot drain, causing corrosion), let it soak and then remove with plain water. Allow to thoroughly dry and then...

2. Spray undercarriage with ValuGard Decontamination System (B) Alkaline Neutralizer pH 1.0 that is a blend of acids, which deep cleans painted surfaces to remove alkaline deposits and safely dissolves the alkaline salt particles bond with the paint so that they can be rinsed away. Apply to a clean and freshly rinsed surface. Allow product to dwell for 5-7 minutes. All necessary safety precautions should be taken whilst using this product

3. Rinse vehicle thoroughly and then apply Chemical Guys Bare Bones, spray over the entire area and wipe in well with an old towel, .one application will leave no residues, noxious fumes or flammable solvents. Makes plastic and rubber look new again, shines painted surfaces, and keeps aluminium and anodized parts from corroding.

4. Protection; apply POR-15 Marine Clean™ and then two coats of a rust inhibitor paint (POR-15) allow each coat to dry

Last edited by TOGWT; 09-20-2010 at 11:43 AM.
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      11-03-2010, 11:29 AM   #2
wuufer001
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have you replaced the wipers with the latitude yet?
i replaced mine yeterday but after i finished i notice something's wrong.
-wiper sits very high
-wiper cover that was covering the pivot joint that was removed to take out old wipers will not fit back after installing the latitude
-due to the increased height of the wiper, the windscreen washer liquid sprays the wiper arm instead of windshield
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      11-04-2010, 04:29 PM   #3
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I live in California, what's road salt?

j/k good post, I winterized my car even though I never take my E90 to snow trips. But daily driver/beater Murano is yet to be "winterized" lol
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