How to drive your car during the winter in Russia and not die trying

How to drive your car during the winter in Russia and not die trying

Car during the winter in Russia – Frozen windshield wipers, spent batteries, icy roads, crazy drivers … this is just the tip of the iceberg of what you can find when you try to travel the roads of Russia.

What Russian does not like to drive fast? This rhetorical question was asked by the great Russian writer of the nineteenth century, Nikolai Gogol. Since then, nothing has changed, there are even roads that in many places remain the same. Read the following tips and maybe get to your destination when driving your car during the winter in Russia.

Car during the winter in Russia: Tires and ‘shoes’

drive your car during the winter in Russia


First of all, you have to “change your shoes”, as Russian drivers say, which means changing normal tires to winter ones. Even in Moscow, the roads become icy and if your wheels are bald, then you could find your car sliding everywhere. If you venture further away from the cities, then you may need some tougher tires and help you through thick snow, ice, and frozen mud.

Important !: According to the traffic rules, you must have a “Ш” sign (meaning “шипы” – tacks) visible on the back window to indicate that you have installed the winter covers.

It is also a good idea to consider what shoes you will wear when you drive. Jumping into your car early in the morning in winter will be a cold experience unless you have left the engine running a few minutes before, so make sure your feet are at least warm. In addition, it is worth changing the floor mats for rubber ones: snow, salt, and rain can damage the surfaces of the materials.


car during the winter in Russia and not die trying

Have an old car or a new car, in the winter you should be very aware of what is happening under the hood. First, make sure the battery is intact. For winter, it is best to use an electric cell with 60 Ah or more. However, it is advisable to buy a battery charger: if the temperature drops drastically, you may need to start the engine. A popular method to keep the battery charged is to remove the clamp from the negative contact before leaving the car during the winter in Russia at night; It is useful if you leave the wheels exposed to the elements.

Spark plugs should also be checked. If your car does not start, dirty contacts in the plugs may be a reason. And if you have a diesel engine, do not forget to fill it with special winter fuel.

When you prepare for the coldest months of the year, also check your engine oil: it must have the correct viscosity (indicated by a code). For example, when the code says “0W-30”, it means that the oil will operate at temperatures of -35 to +30 degrees Celsius. To travel through central Russia, where mercury rarely falls below -30, oil with the codes “0W” or “5W” should suffice.

Russian roads are dirty, so make sure you have enough windshield washer fluid. Before the real cold is installed, remember to drain the windshield wipers with antifreeze, the blocked tubes are a nightmare. You should be very careful when choosing the fluid to use for winter: it should not contain alcohol or have a strong smell as it will stink your car during the winter in Russia.

Look for a liquid with a really low freezing point, around -30 degrees Celsius. In this way, you will know that you will be safe (if you do not venture to visit the Far North of Russia!)

Car care

How to drive your car during the winter in Russia

When it comes to cleaning your windshield, do not forget to change the windshield wiper. For winter, it is best to use them with a firm metal frame: plastic can deform at low temperatures and scratch the windshield. Always remove your windshield wipers when leaving the car parked; otherwise, they will freeze in the glass.

The use of silicone lubricants on all automotive rubber seals (around the doors, boot, bonnet) can also prevent damage if they freeze. Having an antifreeze spray on hand is also useful.

Make sure there is enough space in your car during the winter in Russia for all these winter items. It is also recommended to bring a tow rope, an ice scraper, a brush to sweep the snow, a shovel and gloves.

Do not commit illegalities

your car during the winter in Russia

Being stopped by the traffic police is not something weird, but you do not have to worry about anything. Comply with these rules: keep the safety belt fastened, have all the documents of the car (insurance, driver’s license, etc.) at hand, and stay completely sober! Your plates should also be free of mud and completely visible.

Finally, if you are driving on an empty road in Moscow (or any other big Russian city), make sure you are on the right path. Maybe this road will take you to the end of the world … It is difficult to find the time and place where there are no traffic jams in the big Russian cities.

You can try to save time by using applications like Yandex. Maps or Google Maps, which show traffic in real time. Yandex is even able to predict traffic for the next few hours.

As in other parts of the world when there is a traffic jam, beggars appear asking for money, vendors offering car chargers for mobile phones, bouquets, and even spinners, advertising brochures and free newspapers.

Another interesting observation is that smart person trying to use the roadside effectively. They leave behind huge clouds of dust and further worsen the situation when they try to merge with the traffic before the edge of the road turns into a fence, or there is a traffic camera in front.