It’s rightly called a “major purchase.” It’s something you think about and choose carefully. It’s something you like to show off to your friends and family. It expresses your personality. It’s your baby. That’s right, it’s your car. But Old Man Winter doesn’t like your car. Heavy snow, salt, ice, and slush can cause paint damage and rust. What can you do to protect your investment and keep it looking in show-off-to-your-friends condition?
Snow and Ice Buildup
When snow and ice accumulate on your car, you have to brush and scrape. And that can’t be good for the paint. In some climates, this is almost a daily procedure. All that brushing and scraping can eventually compromise and damage the paint.
The obvious solution is to keep the car in a covered space, such as a garage. If a garage isn’t available, a car cover is the next best thing, and they are available in a variety of prices and grades.
Keep Your Car Clean
Salt is used to melt road ice. It does its job, but then it just lies on the road and mixes with the melted snow and slush. Moving traffic – your car, and every car around you – splashes and sprays this slushy cocktail everywhere and a thick coating of salty grime accumulates on your vehicle. This very unattractive, but even worse, salt is extremely corrosive and can lead to irreversible damage by rust. You see the layer of salt and dirt on your car, often so thick you can write your name in it. But what you don’t see is the salt that has accumulated on the undercarriage of your car, where rust is more likely to start because it’s not painted.
The solution is to wash your car regularly, preferably at an automated car wash. An automated car wash can clean the underside of the car and get to places you couldn’t if you washed it yourself. Additionally, an automated car wash allows you stay warm and dry in cold winter weather.
If you choose to wash the car yourself, use a high pressure wash to loosen and remove the dirt, salt, and grime from hard-to-reach places.
A layer of polymer wax on your car to protects it from the inevitable buildup of road grime and salt. A spray wax can be added periodically throughout the winter months.
Protect the Rubber
After washing, thoroughly dry rubber accessories and surfaces such wiper blades and door sealing strips. Drying wiper blades will prevent them from freezing and sticking to the windshield. Keeping sealing strips dry is important, as this will prevent damage that can be caused by freezing. Remember to keep key locks dry as well.