1) Look for Damaged or Missing Wheel-Well Splashguards
These guards help keep water and old man winter’s salty slush from splashing into the engine compartment, where it can cause damage to sensitive electrical pieces. Unfortunately, these guards usually aren’t well made and can tear off easily. Inspect for any damage to these guards when you wash your car or ask you auto detailing professional to check during your next detailing visit. They may need to be re-secured with fasteners or possibly replaced. As added protection from splashed-up dirt, salt, slush, and debris, install mud flaps (aka Splash Guards).
2. Touch up Scratches Quickly
Touch-up paint doesn’t adhere very well to rust. This winter, keep some matching touch-up paint on hand so you can touch up any nicks or scratches before rust has a chance to form. These nicks are often found outside the door edges. If you don’t feel comfortable applying the touch up paint yourself, call a local detailer in the area.
3. Don’t Sub Water for Washer Fluid
Never add water to the windshield washer reservoir. It doesn’t clean as well as washer fluid, and it may freeze in cold weather and damage the system. Do not run your windshield washer system once you think there’s no more fluid in the tank, or you may damage the washer fluid pump.
4) Your Car Needs to be Washed in the Winter TOO
Washing you car is more important in the winter than any other times of the year. The sand, grit, slush, and snow mixed with road salt is exactly what will make your vehicle rust. Corrosion occurs more quickly when the temperature repeatedly rises above and then falls below freezing. Especially during the winter months, be sure to rinse the undercarriage and hard-to-reach areas that are susceptible to rust, such as the bumpers and inside the wheel wells. If you take your car to an auto-detailing/car wash professional, make a request that they rinse the under carriage (this is not always included in car wash packages)
5. Wax Protects Your Car’s Paint
There is no doubt that waxing your car is hard work. But it will help keep your car looking new. The car wax preserves paint by slowing oxidation and forming a barrier against bird poop, tree sap, and pollution.
Here’s what to do to ensure the maximum in protection:
- Liquid and spray waxes are tempting to use — they make the car shine with less work than rubbing in wax. But isn’t a substitute for paste wax for the hardest, longest-lasting finish.
- Avoid applying too much wax, or it will be difficult to remove and some residue will remain.
- To avoid scratching your vehicle, use a clean microfiber cloth to remove wax after it has dried.
- Always apply an extra coat of wax to hood. The wax wears away quickly in this area.