The winter season is harsh for everyone, but it’s also hard on our cars. Rain, snow and ice all present their own challenges. Plus, in Pennsylvania, the use of salt to deice roads significantly increases the corrosive effect that winter moisture has on vehicles.
This season has been especially long and difficult. PennDOT used 950,000 tons of salt this winter to keep traffic flowing and make the roads in Pennsylvania safer for drivers. This time of year, we can never be sure that the season of snow, ice and salt is quite over yet. Here are our 8 tips for protecting your car’s exterior through the end of winter.
- Wash the car regularly,
- Apply wax after car washes,
- Park off the street, preferably inside a garage,
- Use a car cover when parking outside,
- Apply a paint protection film,
- Use a soft brush or broom for removing snow,
- Patch up any rust spots on the car body,
- Clean the vehicle thoroughly at the end of the winter.
Winter Car Care Tips
All of this can wreak havoc on car paint. Salt speeds up the rust process, which eats away at all the exposed surfaces including the car’s body and components. Grains of salt also cause damage to the paint by chipping away at it when they fly up and hit the vehicle as you drive. The good news is that spring is right around the corner! Learn more about these steps to keeping your car clean during and at the end of the season.
The best way to protect your car from the corrosive effect of salt and water is to wash it often. Make sure to stop by your favorite local car wash after every winter storm. You want to be sure that the car’s undercarriage is also getting washed well as it is one of the hardest hit areas during this season. By washing off the salt regularly, you help prevent the development of rust.
There’s a tendency to put car care at the wayside during the winter. But we encourage you to not let a little cold weather put your car’s body at risk. If you have a garage, find a warmer day to pull your car in and throw on a quick wax. Or, treat yourself to a full detail Put a winter coat on your car. By applying wax, you are essentially putting a protective layer over the paint. Wax creates a barrier between the body of the car and the snow, ice, salt, gravel and grime that is everywhere during the winter. Applying wax is always a good maintenance tip, but it’s especially important at the end of fall, before the first snow. For touch-ups or as a time saver, you can also use a convenient spray wax product.
Avoid parking on the street. Plows and salt trucks will pass at all hours to keep the roads clear during the winter. You don’t want your vehicle to get snow and salt dumped on it. Parking on the street also leaves the car vulnerable to damage caused by other cars driving on the icy road. To protect the paint, and the entire vehicle, it’s best to park in a garage or, at least, in the driveway.
If your car will be sitting outside for a period of time during the winter, protect it from the elements with a cover. A car cover specially designed for cold weather protection will keep excess moisture and ice off the car’s paint. Plus, it will decrease the wear caused by scraping ice and brushing snow off the vehicle. Car owners love these types of covers because they save time getting the car ready to go in the morning.
Scrapes and scratches are a common problem at the front of cars. Applying a paint protection film is an effective way to save the car from damage caused by dirt, gravel and salt. These specifically designed automotive films are transparent and thin – barely visible – yet durable.
At the beginning of winter, every car detailing and auto accessory puts out an elaborate selection of ice scrapers and brushes. But, the truth is, that these harsh tools aren’t good for car paint in the long term. Using scrapers and hard brushes can scratch the car and make micro-abrasions on the surface of the paint. Instead, opt for a brush with soft bristles or a specific snow removal broom with a foam head.
During the winter, as cars drive through salty slush, rust aggressively attacks any unprotected metal. Chipped or scratched paint leaves the metal of the car body helpless to fight corrosion. If there are any visible chips or scratches on your car, be sure to touch up the paint or have it fixed by a professional auto body shop as soon as possible.
When winter finally comes to an end, take advantage of the warm spring weather. Use this time to clean your car thoroughly and apply a fresh coat of wax. Going through the car wash can also be helpful because they are better at washing the undercarriage.
Car Care for Every Season
Contact the skilled technicians at Badell’s Collision for vehicle repairs, glass repairs and car painting. We know how to keep your car looking and running great through every season. Visit one of our shops in Aston and Malvern or fill out the simple online estimate form.