11 Tips for Winterizing Your Pickup Truck

When winter cold weather approaches, we definitely feel it in our own bodies. As a result, we prepare ourselves. We pull out the coast and jackets. We start wearing knit hats. Maybe we put warmer the sheets on the bed. And we certainly turn off the outside water from the pipes. But, how many of us actually prepare our own pickup trucks and vehicles for the winter? Believe it or not, not many people do. Ignoring the winterization of your vehicle not only decreases the lifespan of your vehicle, but is also a safety hazard.

A Thorough Wax Job is a Great Way to Prepare your Pickup Truck for the Winter

In the winter, pickup trucks (and in fact all vehicles) benefit from extra body and paint protection. Thorough wax jobs protect your pickup truck’s exterior from the harsh elements of winter. Salt, Sand, and other random chemicals that cities/states use to treat their streets do tremendous damage to a vehicle’s body. Vehicles don’t see extreme elements like these during the rest of the year. So, most experts recommend waxing your pickup truck every 3 months. No time to wax 4 times a year? Experts still recommend a minimum of twice a year. Even more of a minimum? BEFORE EVERY SINGLE WINTER.

Since the goal is protection during the winter months it’s better to consider a synthetic wax. Two options would be:

Collinite Super Doublecoat Wax

preparing pickup trucks for winter involves waxing by using collinite wax seen in this picture

Klasse All-In-One Paint Cleaner & Polish

Protect Your Undercarriage from Rust

Do you live somewhere with extremely harsh winters and constant salt on the roads? If so, you may want to consider protecting your undercarriage with an oil undercoating. Keep in mind, research shows that this is somewhat controversial with a few experts saying it is not necessary.  In fact, When Trukbed bought our 2021 Ford F-150 Powerboost Hybrid, the dealership made it a point to send a person out to tell me that ANY type of undercoat protection will void certain Ford warranties!

However, if you choose to opt out of the oil undercoating, make sure to visit a decent carwash that has an undercarriage wash option after driving your pickup truck in areas with a lot of salt on the roads. Another option would be to buy a reasonable pressure washer, like the one we have with us. It’s a Ryobi 1900 psi Pressure Washer, and can be bought at Home Depot for as little as $160. We’ve used our Ryobi at least 20 times, making the cost of each use around 8 dollars. Plus, we could spray as long as we wanted, unlike the quarter use self-service car wash bays. We even clean home windows, sidewalks, old rugs, and driveways as well with it. Spray off the winter salt as often as you want, and as long as you want.

pressure washing salt from underneath the pickup truck can extend the life of a vehicle and having one means you will be prepared

Check the Battery in All Your Vehicles ALL Winter Long

No one wants to be that person who became victim to a dead battery due to not being prepared. A dead battery in the morning means possibly being late for work. Dead batteries in public mean you may have to wait in the cold for help. A dead battery when trying to leave your In-Laws means you A. have to stay there longer, and B. may have to ask you know who for assistance. Yeah, no.

Freezing temperatures can drain the pickup truck battery life quickly, so making sure your battery’s prepared for the weather transition is important. Use a multimeter to check the charge of your battery to ensure it offers enough voltage (12.45 or greater) before the cold arrives. As a reminder, the average battery lifespan is anywhere from 3 to 5 years. So, if your battery is hitting that age as the winter months arrive, you may want to consider replacing it. 

Fluke 115 Compact True-RMS Digital Multimeter

the fluke 115 compact multimeter can be purchased from amazon and other retailers to prepare for winter with the battery

Innova Auto-Ranging Multimeter

a battery multimeter is a great way to test pickup truck and car vehicle batteries before winter hits and be prepared

Portable Battery Boosters Can Get You Out of a Dead Battery Jam In a Hurry

The other day I was at the park, working out of my truck. A fellow came up to me asking if I had jumper cables, pointing over at his car with the hood up. Of course I had jumper cables, because I am that kinda guy. But I told him I had something even better. He seemed confused. I opened up my rear doors, leaned in, went under my backseat and brought out a device no bigger than box of Velveeta cheese. It was my portable battery booster, and I was about to save his day. And I did.

Portable battery boosters are still being discovered by all sorts of drivers, but have been available for several years now. Since I have picked up up a couple years ago, I have jumped my own vehicles, as well as upwards of 20 other people’s vehicles as I encountered them. The days of waiting for AAA or a friend/family member are over. The days of awkwardly parking vehicles to line up battery locations for a jump are over. Parked straight up face in against a wall? Whoops! But – no that’s longer an issue.

It takes less than 2 minutes to get out of your jam. Hook up the portable battery booster to the battery, positive to positive, negative to negative. Power on the device. Turn all your interior accessories off if you can, and then crank up the car. Just make sure you get a portable battery booster that has enough crank power to start an engine of your own size. Bigger engines require more cranking juice. Here is an example of the one I have, and I bought mine off of amazon. I’ve also bought a trickle charger from Noco as well directly from their site.

winterizing your vehicle or pickup truck involved preparing with a portable battery booster like the NOCO Boost Plus GB40 shown here

Check Fluid Levels and Types 

In colder months, you’ll want to make sure the fluids in your pickup truck are at the correct level and that you have the correct type for freezing weather. Different formulas of oil, antifreeze/coolant and windshield wiper fluid are available for the winter season, and you need make sure you have the proper formula for your environment. 

Use Some Silicon or Vaseline on your Door Seals, and Other Rubber Weatherstripping

Have you ever gotten finished brushing away the snow from the vehicle only to wind up with a stuck door that won’t open? This often happens after it snows and the weather warms up enough to start to melt the snow. But, we didn’t actually get out to brushing off the car or pickup truck until later that evening after the sun went down. The temps went back to freezing, and now the snow that’s melted into your doorjamb has frozen your weatherstripping to the door. You now risk busting a door handle. And maybe you do. Whoops!

Stay on top of this situation beforehand by taking some silicon, or Vaseline, and applying it to the weatherstripping. It should help prevent icing up. Apply it to weatherstripping under the hood, in case you need to boost that battery. Apply some to trunk seals and hatches. But DO NOT apply it to windshield wiper rubber. If we’re too late with this advice and you need new weatherstripping – check out Summit Racing Equipment.

Prepare Your Windshield Wiper Blades on Your Pickup Truck for the Upcoming Winter

There’s nothing worse than hitting harsh weather while driving, turning on your windshield wipers and still not being able to see. Doing a quick check of your wipers before you find yourself in that situation will ease aggravation down the road. If your wipers are not getting the job done, consider replacing them prior to the arrival of dangerous weather. You never want to be Ace Ventura in 30 degrees or below trying to see out your window because you were unprepared for the obvious.

Before Winter Arrives Stay on Top of Your Tire Pressures and Tread

The best way to prepare your tires for the winter season is to switch out to winter tires. Winter tires provide much more traction on snow and perform better on ice. As a result, you will experience better stopping distance and handling on turns.

If you are not able to switch to winter tires for the season or the weather in your area does not present a need for it, you should still check the tire pressure and tread depth of the tires you have. Not only will you be safer, but you will also be saving on your fuel economy if monitored correctly. 

Get Your Truck Bed Ready for the Winter

If you’re unable to park indoors during the winter months, a bed/tonneau cover is a great way to protect your pickup truck bed and everything in it.

In addition, sandbags add weight in the bed to assist with better stability while driving. As a bonus, you can empty one out in a pinch to help you gain traction if your pickup truck gets stuck in the snow, or is stranded on ice. And as a typical pickup truck driver, we also know theres a 94% chance you will use your sandbags to help others.

Consider Mud Flaps or Upgrading the Ones You Have

Before you get excited thinking maybe they finally came back in style: we aren’t referring to mullets. Mud Flaps are an inexpensive accessory that can add an extra layer of protection. In the winter, mud flaps function as a barrier between salt, ice or snow and the wheel well and undercarriage of the pickup truck. 

Prepare the Cabin for Winter Grime – Floormats, a Good Ice Scraper & Snow Brush

I’ve been there before: I am out somewhere, and it snowed. It iced up. Sitting at home are 4 ice scrapers and snow brushes that have accumulated after 30 years. But I forgot to simply put one in the truck! I end up using the stiffest credit card I can find to make due and scrape ice. My sleeves have snow bunnies from wiping snow off the body and windows. So, go get your scrapers and brushes, or buy some new ones, and put them in your vehicles.

Once you’ve prepared the exterior of the vehicle, think about how to prepare the cabin of the pickup truck for potential harsh weather. Check to make sure you have the following items in your cabin so that you do not find yourself without when needed.

All Weather Floormats – Don’t let the cities/states/counties ruin your interior carpeting along WITH the roads with their salt and chemicals.

Ice Scraper/Snow Brush


First Aid Kit



It’s important to prepare your pickup truck and other vehicles for winter. Not just for protection of the vehicle, but for safety as well. Start bustling around, getting items ready and show those around you they have a prepared person who thinks ahead driving that pretty pickup truck or vehicle. Show them that they made a good decision by keeping you around thus far. And Please Share these tips by forwarding this article to your followers, friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit or the Forum boards! They’ll thank you, as would I!

Have any other tips you’d like to add? Let us know in the comment section below! Trukbed is a pickup truck and driving enthusiast and loves conversation.

Don’t forget to check out Trukbed’s Report Card Long Term Review of the All-New 2021 Ford F-150 Powerboost HYBRID!

Looking for other gift ideas for your pickup truck? Trukbed has a few ideas to throw at you.

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