Winter can be especially harsh on your cars exterior; it damages everything from your gardens to your homes so your vehicle is no exception. Considering that a car is the second most expensive thing that we probably own it makes sense that we should take care of it and not let winter get the best of it.
Your cars paintwork gets a tough time in winter from leaves and road debris flying over it in all directions to freezing rain and the dreaded road salt. In no other season is your vehicle subjected to as much attack as the winter months. So if you value your automobile and would like to see it last and want it to stay in tiptop condition for as long as possible follow the tips below. The advice given will aid you and protect your car whey in to the future and give you more years of trouble free motoring.
First things first, get your car clean. Not just any sort of clean but a proper deep clean. Start off by giving your vehicle a soapy wash and rinse that should remove any loose pieces of debris and soften up any stubborn bits that remain. Next get your self a clay bar. Clay bar I hear you say what is a clay bar? Well its basically synthetic resin (feels like clay) that you can rub over panels (using water as lubricant) which removes all left over contaminants that washing cant. It’s a laborious process but well worth it. Once you’ve used the clay bar your paintwork will be completely clean and feel super smooth to the touch. Now that you’ve got rid of all the muck that was on your car the next thing would be to seal the paintwork. Sealing the paintwork provides protection against UV, acid rain and weathering in winter and usually lasts up to 12 months. It comes in liquid form and is easily applied by microfiber cloths. Now your paintwork is clean and sealed you now need to give it a good polish. Polishing just provides another layer of protection and makes your car look great to boot.
There’s not a car on the road that hasn’t got some form of chip or scratch on it, any exposed bare metal on a car can deteriorate rapidly in winter. If road salt gets in contact with any area on your exterior that has bare metal showing it will increase the rate at which rust occurs. So once your car has been cleaned and polished the next thing you need to do is seal up any exposed bare metal that you might have. The best way to achieve that is to get some of your cars paint in a touch up stick and on a dry day touch over any areas that have chipped off paintwork. Make sure you check the door edges, bonnet and sill for exposed metal, also if there are scratches that look deep enough to have gone through the primer touch in them as well.
Another over looked area that not many people think might need protecting is under the wheel arch. There is a plastic cover that arches out under your arch area and over your wheel, its there to protect your chassis from debris and water. This plastic cover can easily get clogged up with mud and dirt and prevent the water from running off. If there is no smooth flow of water run off and the water is allowed to maintain contact with the paintwork it wont be long before rust would start to appear. The best way to prevent this from happening is to jet wash in your wheel cavity, this will remove most of the muck. Once the area is dry get yourself some heavy grease and run it along the underside of your wheel arch area against your paintwork. The grease will act as a barrier so when water, mud and debris are being thrown around in your wheel cavity your paintwork will be safe.
Lastly make sure all the rubber sills in the door shuts, boot and bonnet shuts have also been cleaned, you want to keep that flow of water away from your paintwork and not on it.
The advice given in this article is by no means a fool proof plan in protecting your cars paintwork but it will keep your car in better condition for longer.