How To Protect Car Paint In Winter
| Jeff McEachran
The potential damage the harsh winter causes to our home and gardens often extend to our cars. Unfortunately, many are not aware that the ice, snow, and rain come with their set of challenges. With the use of salt to de-ice roads that increase the corrosive effect of winter moisture on the car, we must spare a thought for poor vehicles.
While the salt lowers the freezing point to prevent ice, it causes damage to the paint and underside of the car. Also, the flying gravel and debris washed into the road can cause scratches, dents, and other havoc to the car's exterior.
Winter gives your paintwork a tough time, but implementing proper car care goes a long way to protect it from wearing, keep it shining, and retain its value if you intend to sell it in the future.
Here is a list of the best car cleaning tips on how to protect your car paint in winter.
Park Your Car Indoors
Avoid parking your car outside or on the street as much as possible during winter. When salt and plow trucks pass by, the salt and snow can often get dumped over your car. Leaving your vehicle parked on the street also leaves it vulnerable to other cars driving by. It's best to park your vehicle in a garage or a driveway to ensure the car paint remains unaffected.
Use Car Covers
Not all of us have the luxury of parking our car in a garage, but leaving the vehicle without covers exposes it to several things, including snow, salt, and debris. And with a garage at home, you may often take the car to work and other places, leaving it exposed outside.
There are covers specifically for cold weather protection. It keeps excessive ice and moisture off the paint and reduces the wear caused by brushing and scraping snow off the vehicle. Using a cover is beneficial not only during winter but also in the summer and rainy seasons. It ensures your car is always ready to go.
Wash Your Car with High-Quality Products
Start by washing your car; it's the first step of protection you can provide. Removing road salt, dirt, and other debris buildup helps to avoid further damage and corrosion to your car paint. It can be time-consuming, but it's not so complicated. If you intend to use the old-fashioned bucket and soap, it's best to wash the car before the cold comes. Start from the top, work your way down, and gently rinse the vehicle, including the wheels, before drying with the BLO car dryer.
You can use a clay bar to remove stubborn stains after the wash. Ice can make the doors and locks stick. Therefore, air drying your car helps to avoid the stress of ice scraping. If you park in a garage or with a covering, wash it after driving in deep snow, recently salted, or muddy situations. But if you park outside without covering, ensure you clean the car at least once a week.
Apply The Best Car Wax or Sealant
During winter, applying a fresh coat of wax to the car's body helps to prevent damage and corrosion from sources like:
- Salt on the roads
The slightest dust or numbness can damage your vehicle, so it's important to wax often. While waxing, ensure you don't leave out the parts of snow, ice and salt that can build up, such as the lower part of the car, the front of the grille, and behind the wheel.
The wax is hydrophobic, forming a layer of protection and preventing direct contact between your car body and these substances.
Waxing also protects from UV rays that can cause fading and dullness to the car's paintwork. Spray wax that comes in a bottle is convenient to apply and wipe off without making a mess.
Apply Protective Coating
When driving at high speed, the car's paint job is susceptible to scratches from gravel and rocks flying into the air, especially the hood and body panels in the vehicle's front half. Applying black vinyl over the nose of the car can help to prevent paint damage. Still, most car owners hesitate with this option because it can make the vehicle look unattractive.
The better option is to use paint protection film as an agent to keep the car's body protected from dirt, rock chips, and corrosive elements. With this, you can rest assured that you don't have to pay expensive fees for fixing your car body.
The paint protection films are clear, thin, durable, and self-healing. Thus, having contact with damaging agents doesn't chip it away. While it's durable enough to preserve the quality of the car's paint, it's hardly discernible, so your vehicle can maintain its actual color.
Remove Wet Leaves and Snow Early
Driving in areas with heavy snowfall and trees can expose your car to debris, including wet leaves. These may seem harmless to your vehicles, but the moisture and salt it holds can cause damage to your car. In addition, the leaves that can get stuck on the wheel or undercarriage are another reason to wash the car more often.
Leaving the wet leaves increases the chances of rusting. Therefore, check and remove all debris as soon as possible. Having the car blow dryers as part of your car's cleaning kit helps you safely remove moisture from the vehicle without using towels that can cause chips, scratches, or tamper with the car's paint.
Repair Damages Immediately
It can seem like a burden to always drive to the dealership to fix every tiny dent or scratch. But it's compulsory since minor damages quickly before it spreads and becomes expensive. Corrosion can form from stone chips on the metalwork.
It would help if you sealed every chip or scrap, even those that are not noticeable, using touch-up paint kits that are easy to apply. It's better to keep the car shining all winter and ready for road trips in spring. The effort and cost you put into immediate repairs of damages are worth it since these minor flaws can lower your car's resale value.