Winter isn’t typically the time for joyrides, but summer will be here soon enough, and you’re going to want your car to look good when it does. To prevent winter from taking a toll on your car’s paint, follow these tips from our I-CAR auto body pros:
Fully Remove Snow and Ice from Your Glass, not Your Auto Body
For full visibility through your windows, you need to completely remove all snow, ice, slush, etc. from your windows. When Albuquerque gets enough accumulation, you may also need to clear some snow off your hood to keep it from blurring your vision as it blows back towards the windshield. But if you do, don’t scrape off all the snow.
Likely, you did not have your car freshly washed before the snowfall. That means your car is covered in road grime and fine grit. If you brush off snow and ice from the body, you scrape that grit across your paint, and that causes scratches. Any damage to your vehicle’s exterior coat invites corrosion, and wet winter conditions speed up that process. It’s better just to let the last bit of snow and ice melt away without any applied pressure.
Get Your Car Washed during Winter Warm-ups
Like rain, snow will take dirt from the air and deposit it on your car. Dirty spray from other vehicles’ tires creates another coat of muck on your paint. Whenever the weather is warm enough, get your car washed. (By “warm enough” we mean 40° or above for at least two hours after the wash).
If you’re going to get your car washed, you might as well get it waxed. Wax adds a layer of protection to your car’s exterior coating.
Your clear coat is formulated to protect the paint from oxidation (rust and corrosion). Wax protects the oils in the clear coat from deterioration from UV and exposure to other corrosive elements—like salt.
You don’t need to go overboard, though. If you waxed your car at the beginning of winter, you do not need to reapply until spring. But if you can’t remember or you know you skipped that car-care step last time you got your car washed, opt for wax.