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what additives should i use in the winter

What Additives Should I Use In The Winter?

With the winter season upon us, it’s time to equip ourselves with the right knowledge to tackle the challenges that come with it. One question that often arises is, “What additives should I use in the winter?” Whether you’re an avid driver or simply someone who wants to keep things running smoothly in the colder months, this article will guide you through the essential additives that can help ensure your vehicle and home stay in top shape. From fuel additives to protect your engine, to coolant additives for safeguarding your radiator, we’ve got you covered with all the information you need to face winter head-on.


Winter can be a challenging time for our vehicles. The cold weather can have a negative impact on various parts of our cars, from the engine to the brakes. That’s why it’s important to use the right additives during this season. Additives are specially designed substances that enhance the performance and protection of different components in our vehicles. In this comprehensive article, we will explore the various types of additives that are recommended for use in the winter, why they are necessary, and how choosing the right additives is crucial for maintaining the longevity and efficiency of our vehicles.

Engine Oil Additives

Viscosity improvers

Viscosity improvers are additives that help stabilize the oil’s viscosity, ensuring it remains optimal even in cold temperatures. They prevent oil from becoming too thick during winter, which can hinder proper engine lubrication. By reducing the risk of oil thickening, viscosity improvers enable smoother engine operation and better fuel efficiency.

Pour point depressants

During winter, the cold temperatures can cause the oil’s pour point to increase, making it more difficult to flow and circulate through the engine. Pour point depressants counteract this issue by lowering the oil’s pour point, ensuring that it can still effectively reach and lubricate the engine’s vital components, reducing wear and tear and preventing damage.

Anti-wear additives

Cold weather and start-up conditions can put extra strain on our engines. Anti-wear additives provide an extra layer of protection by forming a protective film on engine surfaces, minimizing friction and wear. This is especially important during the winter when the engine components are subjected to harsher operating conditions.

Fuel Additives

Antifreeze additives

Fuel additives with antifreeze properties help prevent fuel lines and filters from freezing during winter. They lower the freezing point of any water content in the fuel system, ensuring uninterrupted fuel flow and preventing potential fuel line blockages.

Fuel stabilizers

Cold weather can cause fuel to degrade, resulting in poor combustion and reduced engine performance. Fuel stabilizers counteract this by preventing fuel oxidation and the formation of harmful deposits, helping to maintain fuel quality and compatibility throughout the winter season.

Cetane improvers

Cetane improvers enhance the ignition quality of diesel fuel by improving its cetane number. This is particularly important in colder temperatures, as it ensures a more efficient and reliable ignition process, facilitating smoother starts and minimizing engine misfires.

Cooling System Additives

Antifreeze additives

Antifreeze additives, commonly known as coolant, play a crucial role in preventing the engine’s cooling system from freezing and overheating. These additives lower the freezing point of the coolant, allowing it to continue flowing and maintaining optimal engine temperature even in the coldest of climates.

Rust inhibitors

Cold, wet winter conditions can accelerate the formation of rust and corrosion within the cooling system. Rust inhibitors added to the coolant help protect the system’s components from corrosion, extending their lifespan and ensuring efficient heat transfer.

Corrosion inhibitors

In addition to rust inhibitors, corrosion inhibitors further safeguard the cooling system from electrolysis and other corrosive elements. These additives create a protective barrier on internal surfaces, preventing the formation of scale, corrosion, and clogs.

Water pump lubricants

Water pump lubricants are specifically designed additives that provide lubrication and protection to the water pump’s moving parts. They help reduce friction and wear, ensuring optimal functionality and preventing potential damage caused by the extreme conditions and constant use during winter.

Transmission Fluid Additives

Friction modifiers

Friction modifiers are additives that help reduce the friction between metal surfaces within the transmission system. In colder temperatures, proper lubrication is vital to prevent excessive wear and ensure smooth gear changes. Friction modifiers optimize performance by minimizing friction-related energy losses and maintaining effective transmission operation.

Anti-wear additives

Similar to engine oil additives, anti-wear additives for transmission fluid provide an additional layer of protection against wear and tear on transmission components. They form a protective film on metal surfaces, reducing friction and extending the lifespan of critical transmission parts.

Seal conditioners

Cold weather can cause rubber seals within the transmission system to become brittle and prone to leaks. Seal conditioners keep these seals pliable and flexible, minimizing the chances of leaks and maintaining the integrity of the transmission system.

Brake Fluid Additives

Moisture repellents

Moisture can accumulate in the brake system, especially during the winter months when temperatures fluctuate. Moisture repellent additives help prevent water absorption, reducing the risk of brake fluid contamination and maintaining brake system performance and reliability.

Anti-corrosion additives

Brake systems are highly susceptible to corrosion, which can compromise their effectiveness and safety. Anti-corrosion additives create a protective barrier on metal surfaces, guarding against rust formation and ensuring optimal brake system operation, even in adverse weather conditions.

Windshield Washer Fluid Additives

Antifreeze additives

Using windshield washer fluid with antifreeze additives is crucial during winter. These additives prevent the fluid from freezing, ensuring clear visibility by effectively removing ice, snow, and dirt from the windshield.

De-icing agents

De-icing agents in washer fluid additives help melt ice and frost from the windshield during cold weather conditions. By breaking down the ice and frost, these additives ensure a clean and clear windshield, enhancing driving safety.

Rain repellents

In addition to keeping the windshield clean, some washer fluid additives also contain rain repellents. These additives create a hydrophobic surface on the windshield, causing rainwater to bead and roll off, improving visibility during rainy winter days.

Battery Additives

Battery terminal protectors

Battery terminal protectors are additives that prevent the buildup of corrosion on battery terminals, ensuring reliable electrical connections. Winter conditions can be particularly harsh on batteries, and these additives help prolong their lifespan and optimize performance.

Corrosion inhibitors

Corrosion inhibitors used in batteries help prevent the formation of corrosion on battery terminals and internal components. By slowing down the chemical reactions that lead to corrosion, these additives ensure the battery remains efficient and functional, even in cold weather.

Tire Additives

Tire sealants

Tire sealants are additives that can be used to prevent and repair tire punctures. Cold winter roads can be hazardous, and tire sealants help provide an extra layer of protection against punctures, enabling us to drive with confidence and ensuring our tires remain properly inflated.

Tire traction enhancers

During winter, maintaining adequate traction is essential for safe driving. Tire traction enhancers are additives designed to improve tire grip on slippery surfaces. By increasing traction, these additives enhance vehicle control and reduce the risk of accidents in winter conditions.


Choosing the right additives for our vehicles during winter is essential for maintaining their performance, longevity, and safety. By utilizing additives such as viscosity improvers, antifreeze additives, and corrosion inhibitors, we can protect crucial components from the harsh winter conditions. It is always advisable to consult our vehicle’s manual to determine the specific additives recommended by the manufacturer.

Additionally, regular maintenance and inspections, including fluid level checks and component examinations, are important to ensure our vehicles remain in optimal condition throughout the winter season. With the appropriate additives and proper care, we can confidently navigate the winter roads with a well-equipped and reliable vehicle.