Here are some tips I have gathered from my own experience, and from other Jeepers. First, I will start with a Myth-buster. Auto experts say you should warm up your vehicle for no more than 30 seconds before you start driving in the winter. It doesn't help your vehicle to warm it up any longer than that.
Washington Post Article - Winter Myth
If you have a hard top, it is time to start thinking about putting it back on. I don't have a hard top, so I make sure my soft top is cleaned with special soft top cleaners, and I use a soft top protectant. Now for those of you in the deep South and Southwest, it may be time for you to take off the hard top to enjoy those cooler winter temperatures.
Keep a Full Tank of Gas -- this helps prevent condensation from forming on the walls of the tank and dripping down into your gas.
Carry an Emergency Kit -- include a shovel, ice scraper, blankets, jumper cables, flashlights, extra clothes, recovery gear, and food & water.
Wintertime also requires extra preventive care and maintenance like checking your brakes. On older models you should flush your coolant. Don't forget a useful set of new windshield wiper blades can be helpful during ice, sleet or snowstorms. There are special winter wiper blades that offer shielding from snow, sleet and ice build up.
Do not use an ice scraper on your mirrors as it could scratch them. Add some de-icer to your windshield washer fluid. And check your heat and defrosters to make sure they are operating properly.
WRANGLER Owners: Lube the door hinges and put the torx bolt back on.
Wash and wax your Jeep to help protect the paint from the salty roads.
If you off-road you most likely have scraped your under carriage, I suggest spending some time on those scratches to prevent rust from forming.
First, I sand away as much rust as I can. I used sand paper. I am told a wire brush on a drill is the best way. The wire brush isn't supposed to take of the metal.
(Since this post I have updated the product I use for this. Check out the links below)
Second, I use Permatex Rust Removal Spray from Napa Auto Parts. You are supposed to let it sit for 24 hours.
Then I use Krylon Black Spray Paint with Rust protector. Make sure you don't get the spray paint where it shouldn't go, i.e. brake lines, the exhaust.
The final step I learned from a Jeep friend, Fluid Film. I spray it as an added measure of protection against all that nasty chemical concoction they put on our roads in the winter. Some folks bedline their undercarriage but I like this less expensive option. Check out my blog post below.
- Make sure your antifreeze in the radiator is good to -40 or colder.
- If you run wide mudder / flotation tires in the summer for off road to replace them with narrow snow tires for snow and ice.
- Open differentials in 4 x 4 work good on ice. Fully locked, Detroit lockers, and true trac can be unpredictable and dangerous on ice. So if it is icy, I believe it is better to have your Ox, ARB, and factory lockable s unlocked in 4x4 for better control on ice.