The temperatures are dropping, and you’re not the only one who needs protecting from the winter elements — our cars deal with a lot when the weather gets rough. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to prep your car for winter and ensure the paint, the wheels, and the glass are protected from the storms and freezes to come.
Protecting your car’s paint
The salt that’s used to de-ice the roads and make them safer is also killer on your car’s paint — it’s so harsh, it can actually remove the paint. So when you’re getting your car ready for the season, the best thing to do to protect paint is to add a high quality coating, sealant, or wax.
Coatings are the best, longest-lasting options and they’ll need less maintenance as well, but sealants and waxes are also good options in case a paint coating is out of budget. Paint coatings also require a fair amount of prep work, including claying, compound, and polishing.
Whichever you choose, though, this is the best way to protect your car from the ice and salt ahead.
Protecting your wheels
Your car may have alerted you after the first real overnight temperature drop, to check the air in your tires. Cold temperatures cause the air inside your tires to shrink, and if this happens enough and your tires can become under-inflated, making it harder to keep traction on icy roads. So when the temperatures drop, check your tire pressure and add air if needed — if the pressure continues to drop regularly, have your tires checked for leaks so they can be sealed, patched, or replaced if needed.
Next, add either a wax or a coating for your wheels, which will repels ice and snow as well as brake-dust, salt, and even oil. Coatings are the premium option, and won’t require re-application throughout the winter.
Protecting your windshield
Your windshield is the part of your car most exposed to the elements. If you park your car outside, you might consider investing in a car blanket that fits around your car to protect the glass from ice and snow — and you from having to scrape it in the morning. If not, definitely purchase a good quality scraper. You can also purchase ice shield spray to make the morning clean-up easier. Whatever you do, don’t apply hot or even warm water — the temperature will cause your windshield to crack.