Winterizing Your Car's Exterior

Providing additional protection for your vehicle in the wintertime is vital to maintaining the paint especially, but also the wheels and glass. Snow and ice, and the scraping it takes to remove them, can be as rough on your vehicle as they are on you. This article will walk you through a few products and procedures that will give your vehicle just what it needs to weather the winter storm.

 


 

The Paint:


Two words: road salt. Salt used to deice the roads can also de-paint your vehicle if you’re not careful. A quality wax or sealant combined with correct maintenance will get your paint finish through the next few months.

Your best bet for winter paint protection is a paint sealant because they tend to last longer and require less frequent reapplications. If your only concern is durability, Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze offers the best long-term protection. Its acrylic-based formula is like body armor for your car and it lasts up to a year. The finish is not as dramatic as that of a wax, but if the sun peaks out one day, you can use a carnauba topper like Souveran to amp up the shine.

If you prefer a balance of durability and gloss, use Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant. Once cured, Wolfgang Deep Gloss will provide 4-5 months of paint protection and an attractive, high gloss finish. Its beauty and substance rolled into one easy-to-use product.

The Wolfgang/Klasse Combo gives you both the acrylic protection of Klasse and the polymer shimmer of Wolfgang. Start with All-In-One to clean the paint, seal it with Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze, and then top off the paint with Wolfgang Deep Gloss Spritz Sealant. The Klasse twins will absolutely protect the paint from snow and ice, and Wolfgang's spray-on sealant makes it easy maintain a nice shine.

We’ve heard great things about the durability of Collinite Insulator Wax #845; 5-6 months on average. It has a nice gloss and an amazing water-beading effect. Multiple layers is the key to durable protection all winter long.

Duragloss Total Performance Polish (TPP) #105 is another long-lasting synthetic sealant that stands up well to the elements all year round. Layer this over Duragloss Polish Bonding Agent (PBA) #601 for the maximum benefits.

Winter washing can be a challenge, but you don’t want to leave road salt on your vehicle. DP Four-In-One Rinseless Wash & Shine is a unique car wash that does not require rinsing, or even running water. All you need is a gallon of water, a clean wash mitt, and a microfiber drying towel. DP Four-In-One cleans the paint with plenty of lubricants and it does not need to be rinsed, which makes it perfect for use inside a garage (preferably with a space heater!). And, DP Four-In-One Rinseless Wash & Shine keeps your paint protection in tact.



 

Wheels & Tires


Protect your vehicle’s wheels just like the paint. Use DP Wheel Glaze, a protective wax for your wheels. It prevents brake dust adhesion, which is a problem year-round, and it repels snow and ice. It does require regular reapplications to maintain a high level of protection but the results are well worth the effort.

Tire protection is two-fold. For starters, the rubber needs to be kept supple in freezing temperatures to prevent cracking. Pinnacle Black Onyx Tire Gel looks great but most importantly; it hydrates the rubber to keep it flexible.

Secondly, make sure your tires are properly inflated. The air inside tires shrinks in cold temperatures. If they become under-inflated, the tread will not make enough contact with the road to maneuver on icy asphalt. Accutire’s Professional Metal Digital Tire Gauge measures psi from 5 to 99 in half pound increments.



 

Windshield & Wipers:


Wurth Windshield Wash Additive is an antifreeze and cleaner that will keep your windshield clean and frost-free. Simply add it to your windshield washer fluid according to the directions. The additive protects against freezing down to -22°F and overspray will not affect paint, plastic, or rubber.

Everyone in snow-prone areas needs a quality ice scraper. The OXO Snow & Ice Duo includes a snow brush/ice scraper tool plus a standard ice scraper (comes in handy if you can get anyone to help you!)

Preserve your windshield wipers with 303 Wiper Treatment Wipes. These wipes are saturated with a rubber lubricant that stops skipping chattering and streaking. Plus, snow and ice will not stick to the treated wiper blades.



 

Garage:


If your vehicle is covered in snow, you’re garage floor soon will be. The Park Smart Heavy Duty Clean Park Garage Mat has a raised, removable lip around its edges to hold liquid until you have the opportunity to squeegee it out of the garage. The mat also catches oil to prevent stained concrete.



 

Cover It Up!


If you have to park outside during the winter months, consider a car cover. The Block It 400 Evolution cover is heavy duty protection against moisture and impact. If you want considerable protection in a lighter weight cover, the WeatherShield cover is manageable enough for everyday use and it offers great protection against the elements.