Regardless of what part of the world you live, Winter car care is going to become an added concern for any car owner who actually cares about preserving the beauty and resale value of their car.
If you are one such person then continue reading as I lay out some additional tips to help you and your car survive the winter months.
Regardless of the conditions your car must endure during winter months, there are 3 main points to winter car care:
While those three points will seem obvious to most, I think most people underestimate just how critical each of those points are to actually put into practice.
Consistency and Frequency: While consistency may seem the same as frequency, they in fact are different. I could be consistent about cleaning my car as part of my winter car care, but if you are only consistently doing it once every 3 months, this is not the same as being consistent with winter car care and doing it every month!
Which leads directly into frequency. The more frequent you are able to take extra steps of maintenance and protection, the more you can expect to reap the positive effects of your efforts.
Yes; this is a glaring obvious and I know I don't need to tell you but washing your car as often as possible, is your first line in defense for diminishing the harmful effects of the winter months.
It is far better to wash your car with methods that are less than ideal rather than allowing the accumulated dirt, snow, and sleet to remain on your car for extended periods of time.
It is far better to find products you like, and a method that you can perform regularly, than to spend valuable time searching for the best car washing shampoo or technique. Your car will only suffer the more you delay this initial step of winter car care.
Chemical Guys HOL133 Best Detailing Bucket Kit (5 Items), 16. Fluid_Ounces
Darren's Tips: Your goal is to wash your car as frequently as you can during winter months when you car needs it most. this kit is perfect for the bullet points stated above.
I like this specific kit as it represents the winning balance in quality product and "tools". You could spend hours reading about the separate components of this kit alone. But this will not get you any further to actually washing your car.
Meguiar's X2000 Water Magnet Microfiber Drying Towel, 1 Pack
Darren's Tips: I love this drying towel! I am amazed at how many people I still observe in neighborhoods who still use common bath towels to dry their cars with. These towels might feel soft to your skin, but they really do mar and scratch your car paint when compared to a quality drying cloth like this one from Meeguair's.
Not only is this drying cloth super safe, but highly absorbent and totally lint free! A winning balance when winter car care will prove a difficult task anyways!
Chemical Guys CLY_113 OG Clay Bar & Luber Synthetic Lubricant Kit, Light/Medium Duty (16 oz) (2 Items)
Darren's Tips: You may never have heard of detailing clay until now. There are endless types of pollutants floating around in the air. Some of these dirt particles will attach to your paint and become bonded.
The only way to remove these boded paint contaminants is through the use of a clay bar. Winter car care will only make this worse as you will get road grime of many types kicked up onto your car paint from snow, rain, and salt.
If you have never decontaminated your car paint you need to do it anyways. it will be something you need to do after washing your car, prior to waxing your car. This will also become part of ongoing maintenance just like many other tasks of cosmetic car care.
Using the clay bar can be as frequent as you determine based on how your paint feels after washing it. Your paint should feel silky smooth.
Darren's Tips: The world of car wax and paint sealants is a world filled with endless opinions and endless hype. So many crazy claims made by the endless choices in car waxes.
Most of which are virtually impossible to verify. Because of all this hype, I default and continue to use this particular car wax for some key reasons:
It is super easy to use (spray onto car panel, wipe in, flip cloth and buff to perfection). It is non-staining so I can wax any material on my car without worry of staining black trim or rubber gaskets.
I can use it in direct sunlight on hot paint (obviously more of a concern during summer months than any of your winter car care concerns)
I can use this as often as I want ( I love a freshly waxed car) and know it actually has some legit carnauba wax in it. Some spray waxes are so thin in consistency, I question if they actually have any carnauba wax in the product.
CSI Nu Tyre Lotion Quart 62-208-Q
Darren's Tips: I love this tire dressing! It dries to the touch which means no sling onto my car. It is also a perfect dressing for the interior of your car if you like a subtle shine to your hard surface materials in your car.
While many people would consider absurd to apply tire dressing as part of winter car care, but if you are going to take the time and want to do it right, why would you want to neglect your tires when it is pretty easy to apply a tire dressing after you have completed a wash on it.
Kraft Tool PL600L General Purpose Large Turtle Back Cellulose Sponge Box
Darren's Tips: Often I find myself going outside this industry to find that perfect tool. This grout sponge is a perfect example. I have been using this as my preferred tire dressing applicator for over 15 years.
I cut it in half and I get two for the price of one. It also creates multiple surfaces and edges to finesse the moment based on your particular tire side wall. I don't recommend using this on the interior unless you reserve one half for the interior of your car, and the other half for the exterior.
Use this dressing on your tires and any black plastic trim on your car. Especially useful for your winter car care duties!
Finding the right products and tools is a big part of cosmetic car care in general. Certainly a big part of your defense in winter car care.
Having the right arsenal of products and tools will help you perform the requirements of car care during the winter months more often, not less often. After all, winter is a difficult time as people never mind our cars.
You don't need additional excuses and reasons not to perform tasks that are naturally hard and time consuming. Your car needs the cleaning and protection during winter months as much as your car needs it during summer months.
I get it...keeping up with normal car care is hard enough during good weather. Winter car care is going to make the requirements of your car 10 times worse. At least if you live in the northern hemisphere.
Which is part of my goal for you with my specific recommendations. You want something that is already naturally hard to be easier, not harder. You will already struggle enough to perform these requirements under the best of circumstances.
I don't want the feeling of dread to be associated with your list of chosen products and tools to add to the natural dread you will likely have when it comes to winter car care.
The main point I am trying to make are these two things:
The dirtier your car gets, the more harmful this dirt is to your paint. The longer you allow this winter dirt to sit on your car, the worse it is.
Your devotion to the health and beauty of your car will determine how frequently you are willing to do what needs doing.
My goal has been to help you become a more informed car owner and consumer. I hope I have helped in some small way.
This industry is filled with endless hype and I find that even myself can get overwhelmed easily with the countless choices and options in products.
I wish you much success in your detailing efforts!