Creature Comforts for Winter Wheeling

When you’re winterizing your 4×4 for snow camping and extended journeys there are usual suspects like traction tires, chains and antifreeze to combat cold weather. Before the holiday crunch closes in it’s a good idea to take care of these truck and Jeep parts and accessories you’ll need for the long winter months. There are also out of the way items that may seem like afterthoughts, but can go a long way in the battle against frigid winter cold. Here are five of them that can make a difference whether you’re out on the trail or going for your daily drive.

Floor Mats

Winter weather usually has its way with floor mats – temperatures fluctuating greatly from sub-zero to toasty warm can harden and crack hapless mats. Enter WeatherTech’s All-Weather Floor Mats, featuring specially engineered resin with sculpted contours to trap seasonal snow, ice, slush and mud. The customizable rear mats can be trimmed to fit nearly any rig and the accessories come with a 3-year guarantee against defects in materials or workmanship.

Mats tend to have a problem staying put and WeatherTech’s anti-skid ridges stop them from shifting on the floor. They retain their form without coiling in cold climes and sport an anti-stick finish to shield them from undesirable elements. The finish makes cleaning these mats quick and effortless and they come in tan, grey or black to match any interior color.

Seat Covers

smittybilt-gear-seatcoversSeat covers make great companion pieces to floor mats and help protect in the wintertime when more mud, hot beverage spills and transporting of seasonal equipment takes its toll on vehicle seats. Smittybilt seat covers include its G.E.A.R. line, XRCs and Neoprene, a synthetic rubber that maintains flexibility across a wide temperature range.

The G.E.A.R. line of seat covers sports pockets and storage compartments galore to hold gloves, hats and assorted winter gear and supplies. XRC seat covers were recently made available for CJs and YJs and they combine comfort with durability to protect seats. Breathable Neoprene seat covers give an extra layer to shield seats and are custom fit for various Jeep Wranglers.

Wipers and Wiper Blades

Your 4×4’s defrosting abilities and windshield wipers are two of the most vital exterior accessories during the cold months of the year. Rain, snow, sleet, ice and condensation all conspire to obstruct your view. The basic function of windshield wipers is to bead water so it’s easily expelled from the glass surface.

PIAA uses silicone rubber in their wiper blades that coat windows with invisible silicon that goes a long way toward repelling water. Silicon rubber boasts double the durability of conventional rubber and PIAA offers wiper refills on their Super Silicones and Aero Vogues.

Amber Fog Lights

Pro-Comp-Amber-Fog-LightsThe debate over whether amber/yellow fog lights make a difference in misty conditions rages on in the 4×4 community. The wavelengths of amber fog lights are specially designed to filter out the blue part of the color spectrum and make vision easier in challenging conditions. These lights penetrate better than white lights because they don’t reflect off of fog water droplets as easily, cutting down glare.

For winter conditions like flurrying snow and thick fog they should be low mounted and aimed straight ahead or slightly down. Ideally, these lights are aimed in a wide pattern to be most effective.


Winter is all about extreme weather and the Odyssey Extreme Series Battery is designed give you peace of mind when you’re wheeling far from civilization. With plates composed of pure virgin lead, they pack double the power and triple the lifespan of ordinary car batteries.

Whether you’re starting your 4×4 in harsh weather conditions or coping with emergency situations, having a reliable battery is a must.

Author David Beran is a copywriter for 4 Wheel Parts.