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Preparation for the cold months of the year: This is how the Germans winter-proof their cars "from O to E"


Elmshorn, 30 September 2014 – In a survey commissioned by star
petrol stations, the opinion research institute YouGov has
investigated how Germans winter-proof their cars. As a rule of thumb
"from O to E", i.e. "from October to Easter", marks the recommended
period for winter tyres, and as a result the Germans are currently
starting to give some thought to the matter. In first place comes the
ice scraper (70 percent), closely followed in second place by the
"changeover from summer to winter tyres" (68 percent). In third place
the Germans cite topping up the antifreeze (67 percent).

These are followed at some distance by the windscreen de-icer on 42
percent. 39 percent of Germans check their tyre pressures and their
windscreen wipers, and 37 percent check the oil level or the date of the last
oil change. Only just over a third of those surveyed (35 percent) test the
battery, although current breakdown statistics indicate that one in three
breakdowns can be attributed to the battery. Fewer than a third of them
maintain the rubber seals (31 percent), have jump leads in the car (29
percent) or bother about the brakes (27 percent). The final positions are
taken up by “cleaning the underbody” (18 percent) and ”carrying out a car
wash including protective wax finish” (17 percent). Only one in twenty has
snow chains in the car (5 percent).

The Germans are not too keen on cleaning the underbody or protecting the
paint finish with wax. “This can become a problem because road salt, frost
and dirt accumulate on the untreated underbody, the paintwork and also
the seals," says Wieslaw Milkiewicz, Board Member and Press
Spokesperson of the star petrol station brand. “A top-of-the-range car wash
with protective wax finish for the paintwork, as well as underbody and door
seal care, is to be recommended for optimum protection in the cold months
of the year," stresses Milkiewicz. On the whole we also notice that younger
car owners tend to prepare their cars less thoroughly for the winter and
underestimate the cold months of the year.

This is also reflected in the survey results: Fewer than half of the younger
drivers (18 to 24 years old) top up their antifreeze (45 percent), only one in
ten has any jump leads in the car and only three percent give their cars a
special car wash programme including wax protection for the paintwork. In
contrast, drivers in the group aged 25 and above act with considerably
more forethought. In particular those in the age group from 45 to 54 are
above the German average in terms of all the precautionary measures to
prepare the car for the winter (except when it comes to snow chains).
Drivers aged 55 and over are most likely to check the battery, at 45 percent
(10 percent above the average).

When it comes to preparing their cars for the winter, women and men are
largely the same. Although women are less conscientious about checking
the tyre pressures. Only 35 percent bother to check them The figure for the
men is 44 percent.

For optimum preparation for the winter, star offers the following tips:

1. Winter tyres: Winter tyres are the correct choice from October to
Easter, because as soon as the temperature drops to five degrees
Celsius the rubber compound of summer tyres starts to become hard
and lose adhesion.

2. Oil check: The engine should be filled with an adequate quantity of the
correct engine oil. As it takes longer for the engine oil to reach the
optimum temperature in winter, the correct product and the optimum fill
level are extremely important.

3. Battery check: A defective or discharged battery is one of the most
frequent causes of breakdown in the winter. For that reason it must be
checked regularly. Brakes, suspension and underseals should also be
subjected to a check.

4. Seals: The seals on the door frames should be treated with silicone
spray or talcum powder, because this can prevent damage to the door
seals resulting from them freezing up.

5. Paintwork-preserving car wash programme with wax: Frost and
dirty roads in particular take their toll – with the right maintenance the
paintwork will also survive the winter undamaged.

6. Clear visibility: Windscreen wipers and screenwash antifreeze must
also be checked, so that you can see clearly in the winter. Another
indispensable item in every car is an ice scraper with a sturdy handle
and different edges for ice and snow.

7. Winter accessories: Hand brush, gloves, screen de-icer, jumper leads
and in some regions snow chains or other starting aids are a must.
star petrol stations can provide professional advice, even in the cold
months of the year, on all questions relating to correct car care: In addition
to friendly and competent advice, they also offer a wide range of winter
products such as star antifreeze and the screen de-icer.

Information about the survey:
The survey data were collected by the market research institute YouGov.
The sample size is 1024. The survey was carried out between 09.09.2014
and 11.09.2014. The data was collected by means of an online survey. The
results are weighted and representative of the German population aged 18
and over.

star – a strong brand of ORLEN Deutschland GmbH
star is the petrol station brand of ORLEN Deutschland GmbH, which has been
operating more than 550 petrol stations in the northern half of Germany since
2003. The company, which is based in Elmshorn, near Hamburg, is part of the
Polish oil and petrochemicals group PKN ORLEN SA, which is the largest
company in central Eastern Europe with an annual turnover of EUR 27 billion in

PKN ORLEN SA is listed on the stock exchanges in Warsaw and London and is
represented on the petrol station market in Eastern and Central Europe with a total
of 2,700 petrol stations in Germany, Lithuania, Poland and the Czech Republic. In
recent years, large investments have been made in Lithuania and the Czech
Republic in order to bring the group a step closer to its goal of becoming the
leading oil company in Central Europe.

ORLEN Deutschland GmbH
Wieslaw Milkiewicz / Member of the Board and Press Spokesperson
Tel.: +49(0)4121 / 4750 - 1609,
Andreas Khan / Head of Marketing & PR
Telephone: +49 (0)4121 / 4750 – 1618,


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