AutosIt's better not to be late before winter. Some drivers' habits can destroy the car

It's better not to be late before winter. Some drivers' habits can destroy the car

Steamed up window
Steamed up window
Images source: © Autokult | Marcin Łobodziński

1:17 PM EDT, October 15, 2023

Fall and winter are seasons that favor the accumulation of moisture in the car, which in turn leads to windshield fogging. October is a good time to take steps to minimize the risk of these problems occurring. If we don't take care of this early enough, we may expose even such important components as engine parts to damage.

Before we start preparing our vehicle for winter, for example by changing tires, if we have been driving on summer ones so far, we should undertake a few other actions. It's best to do this before typical autumn rain starts outside.

It's about minimizing the risk of moisture accumulation in the car, which is particularly likely in the fall-winter period. Otherwise, the windows will fog up from the inside (which at negative temperatures means the necessity of scraping them from both sides), and what's worse — bacteria and fungi can develop.

There are many methods that allow for the immediate fight against moisture in a car. One of the simplest is pouring cat litter, rice, or silicone pellets into a synthetic bag and placing it in the car. Thanks to their hygroscopic properties, these particles will absorb water. Another way is to place a few newspaper pages under the car mats. However, remember that our "absorbers" of moisture should be regularly replaced.

Some drivers choose to use their car's air conditioning and defroster - not just for heating, but also for drying the air - by turning it on during longer stops. However, if the engine is cold and the car is stationary, such actions can lead to damage (overheating) of some components under the hood due to unfavorable working conditions. Mechanics confirm this as well. Not to mention that in urban areas, idling the car with the engine on for longer than a minute can result in a fine.

Therefore, a much better solution is the elimination of potential causes of moisture accumulation in the car, instead of later dealing with its potential consequences.

Order in the car is fundamental

There are several elements that can help us in eliminating the risk of moisture accumulation. One of the most obvious is thorough cleaning of the car interior, which should not be limited to just wiping the dashboard. Dirt and dust absorb moisture, which increases the intensity of steam formation. It is also worth taking care of the cleanliness of the upholstery, for which we do not need a special vacuum cleaner. Sprays or powders available in stores should be sufficient.

We should also not forget about the windows. It's worth it to clean them well with water and a bit of detergent (like dish soap). At this time, it's also worth getting rid of air fresheners that use oils, because they can leave a greasy residue.

Check the seals

The next step is to check all seals. Rubber worn out over the years or minor damages may cause water to get into the cockpit. We should also pay attention to any rust deposits on the edge. In these places, there's a high probability of water leaking inside.

Replace the cabin filter

One of the most important elements to help avoid moisture is the regular replacement of the cabin filter. Long exchange intervals can lead to filter clogging, which not only hampers interior ventilation but also collects moisture and fosters the growth of bacteria and fungi. And this can have a negative impact on our well-being.

It's worth emphasizing that replacing the cabin filter is neither difficult nor expensive. We should do it at least once a year, although it's best to install a new filter more often — in the spring and fall. It's also worth getting interested in individual types, as higher class filters also retain harmful particles that create smog.

Change the fabric mats to rubber ones

Even though fabric rugs look good, water absorbs into them very quickly, especially the water we bring in on our shoes or umbrellas. That's why it's worth replacing them with rubber ones for the fall-winter period.

Check the condition of the heater

It's also worth paying attention to the condition of the heater in older cars — if any leaks occur, the fluid will leak into the cockpit. If this part has been repaired or replaced recently, it's worth making sure that the pipes have been properly connected.

Check the ventilation grates for blockages

The clearance of air intake grilles also needs to be checked. If dirt or leaves accumulate in them, humid air will be drawn into the ventilation system, which will then end up inside. Eventually, the contaminants will act like a certain kind of humidifier.

The patency of water drainage channels is also important

It is also worth checking the drainage channels, especially if bodywork repairs have been made in the past. If the liquid has nowhere to "escape", not only will the chances of an accelerated body corrosion process increase, but the liquid could also enter the interior.

It probably goes without saying that some of the activities mentioned, such as washing windows or cleaning the interior, should be done more often than once a season. In addition to this, during the fall-winter period, it is also necessary to occasionally air out the car and turn up the air conditioning while driving.

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