How to Detail for Rain and Snow
Here is a follow-up to our article from a couple of weeks ago, “Effortless Interiors”, where we talked about how to make sure the inside of your car was prepared to handle winter driving (read the article here). This week, we’ve shifted focus back to the exterior.
When you talk about winter car detailing you are really talking about prevention (which is why this mini-series is happening now, rather than in December). Finding strategies to prevent exterior paint and body damage, rim damage, tire damage, and undercarriage decay. Here is what we recommend. Each can be done on your own, using one of our in-house services, or any combination in between.
Wash Your Car Frequently in Winter
Car owners should wash their vehicles as often as possible to ensure no build-up of road salt on automotive paint. The longer the road salts stay on a vehicle’s surface, the more the salt eats away at the protective wax or sealant.
Be careful removing snow from your vehicle’s painted surfaces with an ice scrapper or brush. It can damage the paint by causing heavy swirling and scratching. Moisture seeps into scratches and chips in your car’s paint.
Be careful removing snow from your vehicle’s painted surfaces with an ice scraper or brush. It can damage the paint by causing heavy swirling and scratching. Moisture seeps into scratches and chips in your car’s paint. The repeated process of moisture freezing and thawing cracks surrounding paint. This quickly leads to oxidation, which causes further damage. Washing your car frequently during the winter months is the best way to reduce paint damage caused by oxidation.
You can come by the shop for a quick clean with no appointment. Perfect for when you are due at a family gathering.
Wax or Coat Your Vehicle’s Exterior
Superior paint protection can withstand exposure to road salt and cold temperatures. Dirt, snow, salt and grime are easier to clean off your car’s exterior when there is some kind of protective layer covering your clear coat. Waxes do well at protecting your car from the onslaught of winter debris but need to be reapplied very often. Ceramic coatings are the best option for paint protection and will last for years.
Protect Your Vehicle’s Tires & Wheel Wells
Freezing temperatures can damage your tires. The rubber needs to stay hydrated to prevent cracking, so get your tires treated with a quality tire dressing that not only keeps them looking good but also acts as a barrier from the harsh elements of winter and the ozone that causes the rubber to deteriorate. A protective wax for your wheels will repel snow and ice. It requires regular reapplications to provide maximum protection.
Tire dressing is built into all of our detail packages, even our famous quick washes. Check it out here.
6 Top Tips for Winter Detailing
- It’s best to remove salt from your vehicle as soon as possible. Salt is notorious for prematurely degrading and damaging waxes and sealants.
- Use hot water in your wash bucket to help loosen salt and dirt. The warm water also won’t instantly freeze on your vehicle in the colder temperatures and it will help to keep your hands warmer while washing.
- Wear a pair of nitrile gloves over top of your winter gloves to keep your hands dry and toasty.
- Use a spray wax or sealant after your wash to help refortify your wax or sealant previously applied.
- If you have salt stain on your carpets, floor mats or seats use a solution of half water and half distilled vinegar to remove them. It could take multiple scrubbing sessions and applications to completely remove some salt stains. Here is how we do it.
- Be careful when using ice scrapers. They are designed to safely remove ice and snow from windows, not from paint or plastic surfaces.