Winterizing Your Car
September 29, 2015
Winter conditions and elements can take a heavy toll on your car. When most people think about winterizing their cars they think of ensuring tires are good or putting on studded tires, making sure all fluid levels are topped off, checking battery condition and keeping emergency supplies in the vehicle. While all of these are important it is also important to winterize your car’s paint and interior too. The exterior of your vehicle is exposed to the harshest conditions and should be protected from them. There are a few options available to protect your paint in the cold winter months. Available options to protecting your vehicles paint are to apply a coat of either wax, paint sealant, or a paint coating. These all serve the same purpose, to protect your paint. They do this by filling in imperfections in the paint to create a smooth surface that dirt and grime cannot adhere itself to. Wax is the most commonly known and used method but does not last as long as a sealant or a coating. A good wax will last a few months in ideal conditions but in the winter conditions are anything but ideal and wax will only last about half of that time. Therefore if you’re going to use wax to winterize your paint then plan on reapplying it once a month. A paint sealant will last anywhere from 5-6 months with some products that boast one year of protection. Paint coatings last around a year. Again, winter conditions will reduce the length of protection these will provide. All three provide adequate protection but the question is how much time and money do you want to put into protecting your paint? My personal recommendation is to use a paint sealant for winter protection. There are a couple of reasons for this: (1) Paint sealant is more durable than wax. (2) Paint sealant is not as costly as a paint coating. Although, a paint coating will provide the best protection. Another thing to consider when deciding on what to use to protect your paint in the winter is how harsh the winter is where you live. Here in southern Idaho winters are not as harsh as winter in northern Idaho. In an area that has harsh long winters I would recommend a paint coating. Your car’s paint is not the only thing you want to protect in the winter. Your glass takes a beating as well, primarily your windshield. Constant scrapings and road debris being thrown at it can scratch and pit your windshield. A glass coating will protect your glass through the winter months. It will also improve visibility and make it easier to clean snow and ice off your windshield. Wheels and tires need protection as well. The cold cause’s tires to harden which makes them susceptible to cracking. Snow, dirt and Ice draws out the natural oils in the rubber that help keep them soft. There are two ways to protect your tires. The first is to keep them clean. The second is to apply good tire coating. Tire coatings can make your tires look nice but protection is what is most important. Some people do not like the “wet” look on their tires and some do. There are tire care products that offer good protection and the look you prefer. As for wheels, applying the fore mentioned paint protection products to them will help keep snow, ice, dirt and brake dust from building up on them. This prevents pitting of your wheels. Finally, it is recommended that your car be washed once a week during the winter. Keeping your car clean is the best protection but we all know washing your car in the winter is almost impossible. A few ways to protect your car during those long cold winters are: to keep your car in a garage or covered car port if possible, using waterless washes (Do not use these when there is thick buildup of dirt on your car. Doing so will put micro scratches in the paint), and not allowing snow and ice build up to remain on the car. Contact Finishing Touch Detail to protect your car this winter!