The winter season brings not only the biting cold but more potential risks surrounding the exterior of your car. The cold, as well as snow and rain, can have a damaging effect on the paint, glass, undercarriage, and other parts of your vehicle. Here are some tips about how you can protect your car’s paint job — and the rest of its exterior — this winter.
Protecting the Paint
There are many preventive steps you can take to protect your vehicle’s paint from the cold and snow. First, you should consider adding a level of polymer wax or paint sealer to the exterior of your car. The wax will add a protective layer that will not only guard your paint against snow, sleet, and ice, but it will also protect it from road salt that can get kicked up and cause considerable damage to your paint job.
Even with the protective coating, it’s possible that salt and rocks can get kicked up and lodged in hard-to-reach places. When you have a chance, take the time to wash your car down. Salt and grit left on your car can scratch the paint and cause permanent damage. Once you’re finished washing, add another layer of complementing wax for another layer of protection.
Be careful how you get snow or ice off of your car. Don’t try to scrape ice off of the body with a plastic scraper; you may accidentally scrape and scratch your paint job. Instead, let the car warm up and slowly melt the ice. Plastic scrapers are okay to use on windows as long as you’re careful not to scratch the paint on the edges of the windows.
Wheels and Undercarriage
Obviously, ther parts of your car are at risk during the winter, too. Your tires and undercarriage are at risk for considerable damage because of the regular beating they take from the snow, ice, and salt as you travel. First, always make sure to keep your tires properly inflated. In cold temperatures, the pressure inside the tires will drop, causing the tire to deflate and lose some contact with the road. With this lack of traction, your tires could slip, and it’s just a matter of time before you get in an accident.
Just like with paint jobs, your tires should be waxed as well. The cold temperatures could also cause the rubber of your tires to get cold enough that it dries out and cracks. There are special tire gels that will keep the rubber hydrated and prevent cracking and permanent damage to the tires.
You obviously won’t be getting under your car to apply a coat of wax to your undercarriage, but still do what you can to keep it clean. Undercarriages are designed to take a beating, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of it. When you wash your car, make sure to get a good jet of pressurized water under there to clean out what you can.
Along with these preventive measures, always remember to drive more carefully in bad winter weather. By following these tips, you car’s paint job will stay protected and pristine.