Winter is here, which means your car will take a real hit from the outside elements. If the world were perfect, you would be able to bundle up in front of the fireplace and never leave home until the snow melted and the weather once again became warm. Since that’s not an option, you will be out on winter roads, which means that your vehicle is going to be exposed to cold temperatures, snow, and salt. You could be left wondering how to protect your car from corrosive salt and dirty snow.
Why Salt Is Used
In many cities and towns across the U.S., salt is used in the winter to help melt ice and make driving less treacherous in snow storms. While it is effective at its job, it can also wreak havoc on your vehicle. Salt is corrosive, and when it gets wet, it can bind to the metal on your car and lead to the formation of rust. Once corrosion has taken hold of your vehicle, a lot of problems can occur. Not only does it look terrible, but it can also impact the integrity of your vehicle’s frame. It can also wear out essential components such as your brakes or exhaust.
In Colorado and Oklahoma, drivers face more difficulties when it comes to dealing with chemicals on the roads. The Colorado Department of Transportation, for instance, uses anti-icing products ahead of snowstorms as part of their pretreatment strategy to ensure snow does not turn into dangerous black ice. Roads are covered in magnesium chloride by road de-icers. While mag chloride can be effective in keeping roads safe, it is especially corrosive to metals.
However, salt, magnesium chloride, and other de-icing chemicals aren’t the only thing you have to worry about during the winter. Snow can also carry a lot of debris, including dirt, oils, rock chips, and other abrasive materials. These can have an impact on your car’s paint, leading to scratches and chips. Not only should you be asking how to protect your vehicle from road salt, but you should be wondering how to protect your car paint in winter.
Ways to Protect Your Car During Winter
Here are five things you can do to protect your vehicle’s exterior from damage caused by road salt.
1. Keep It Clean
When you want to learn how to protect your car from salt, washing your vehicle during the winter will remove toxic impurities from your paint. Not only will your car look good and sparkle in the sun, but it will also remove salt and other debris on the paint. Keeping your car clean will ensure that rust and other forms of corrosion don’t take their toll on your vehicle.
The easiest and safest way to wash your car during the winter is to take it to a car wash. Since it will be cold outside, you don’t want to risk freezing your hose or yourself to accomplish this task. Choose a sunny day, and make sure to go to a car wash that uses a soft brush and strong driers to prevent the water from icing on your vehicle.
You also want to make sure you pick the undercarriage wash option. Washing your undercarriage will ensure that salt and other debris get removed from the bottom of your car. The underbelly of your vehicle is where rust can take hold, and by the time you notice, there will be damage to the metal components.
2. Add a Protective Paint Protection Film
If you are asking how to protect car paint in winter and keep rust from forming because of salt, then you should consider adding a paint protection film to your vehicle. This film is millimeters thick, but it is durable and effective when it comes to protecting your vehicle. It is versatile enough to be used on all parts of your car’s paint. The best places to apply PPF are your rocker panels located along the lower sides, the front and rear wheel well openings, front bumper, and hood. Protecting these areas will ensure that road salt and other debris don’t cause any damage to your vehicle and will keep your paint from damage for a long time to come.
One of the best PPF options available is called Creed. Your car comes into contact with a lot of different elements on the road, including salt and snow. This film provides a layer of protection to keep your paint and undercarriage from damage. What’s even better is that this PPF will not yellow or stain easily to keep your paint in its true color. You’ve invested a lot in your car, so protect it from anything the road or the winter weather throws at it with PPF.
3. Wax It When Possible
During the winter, in addition to cleaning your car when asking how to protect your car from road salt, it’s also a good idea to wax it often. Waxing your car is another way to ensure that your paint gets protected from not only salt but other debris. Wax will also protect it from UV rays, which can fade the paint and make your car look dull. You can use either a traditional polymer wax and/or a spray wax for ease and additional protection.
After you have added wax to your vehicle, it will create a barrier that won’t allow snow and other debris to stick to it. Over time and from exposure to these elements, the wax will wear out over time, so you’ll need to reapply a few times throughout the winter season. Adding wax to your headlights can also help keep snow from sticking to the surface so you can see when the sun sets early. For added protection, you can apply wax to your PPF.
4. Remove Wet Leaves as Soon As Possible
Driving in areas with trees exposes your car to a lot of different materials, including wet leaves. It may seem like these are harmless and won’t cause any damage to your vehicle, but you would be wrong. They can hold moisture and carry salt, which can damage your car. The longer you let them stick to your vehicle, the higher the chances of rust taking hold.
Leaves can get stuck in wheel wells and to your undercarriage, so do a thorough check of your vehicle to make sure they are removed. This is another reason why you should consider taking your car through a car wash several times during the winter.
5. Consider Using a Cover
If you don’t have the luxury of parking your vehicle inside a garage during the winter months, it will be exposed to a variety of things, including salt, snow, and other debris. Even if you have a garage at home, your car might be outside at work or other places you frequently visit. This might have you asking how to protect a vehicle that sits out in winter.
One of the best ways to keep it protected when not in use is to put a cover on it. This will ensure that snow doesn’t sit on the paint and that when the city trucks drive by with salt to de-ice the street, your car won’t get covered. It can also help reduce the amount of frost that develops on your windows.
While a cover can be beneficial, it can also be a pain to put on your vehicle. Thus, if you want protection that acts much like a cover but doesn’t involve any hassle, you should seriously consider getting PPF applied on your car paint. It may be the best investment that you make.
Protect Your Car Today
Since you can’t stop driving just because it’s winter, you need to take some steps to ensure that your car is protected from snow, salt, and other debris. There are many options to help with this endeavor, but some of them are more work than others. If you are looking for a way to protect your car without adding extra work to your plate, then adding a PPF is your best option.
If this is something you’re interested in and want to add to your vehicle to keep it safe, look for the nearest Rayno shop to get your car wrapped in PPF. This is by far the easiest way to keep your vehicle protected. Adding a PPF means you’ll have to do less work to ensure that your car is protected and looks dazzling for a long time to come.