17 May WINTERIZING YOUR CAR
Winter sometimes feels like a lost cause in the detailing community or for the motorist who is adamant with keeping their car shiny and clean. However, your maintenance habits during the winter will likely have some of the greatest affects on how shiny and clean your car can be come the spring.
It starts with understanding the concept of wax. Not all waxes, sealants, and coatings are applied the same way, look the same, or are same durability, but whichever coating you choose to go with serves the same purpose. To be a sacrificial barrier on top of your paint. While this barrier may not look very thick, you can tell that it is there by feeling how smooth the paint is, the reflectiveness or extra shine it gives the paint. Those are the aesthetic benefits from wax, the protection from wax is very similar to how rust proofing (oil spray) works underneath the car on the frame. A thick oil is sprayed onto the bare metal surfaces, when you drive the salt and dirt being kicked up by the tires lands on the oil but never comes in contact with the frame or bare metal. The oil is acting as a sacrificial barrier, protecting the frame. After a year you rinse the underbody and respray the oil to build up the layer that has slowly been deteriorating.
The first steps of protecting your vehicle from winter are:
- A good coat of wax, sealant, or coating to protect the paint from scratches and corrosion.
- Rust proofing the underbody. Whether you’d rather use a rust module and not spray oil, it is completely up to you, but it is critical to get some protection on the frame.
- Rubber or weatherproof mats in the footwells to collect melted snow and slush. If you do not put winter mats in your car, the slush can soak into the carpet and begin to corrode the underbody from beneath the carpet.
- Applying a water repellant product on the windshield will drastically help with visibility and reduce nighttime glare. It will also reduce ice build up and make cleaning the windshield in the mornings much easier.
- Anti-fog on the inside of the windshield will reduce condensation once the car is warm and you’re driving.
- For those who spend a lot of time out in the snow, consider also getting a seat cover to prevent water stains or salt getting on the seat from your jacket or pants.
Completing this checklist will make winter significantly easier to deal with, and protect your car from the elements. Come spring time, after a quick clean of the interior and washing the paint, your car will look just as good as it looked heading in to winter.