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Tips for Keeping Your Car Clean in the Winter

Thursday, March 5 2015 3:48 PM
By Roger Scholfield
Tips for Keeping Your Car Clean in the Winter

Winter brings some pretty nasty weather, and Wichita drivers frequently have to deal with snow and ice on the roads. To combat this, road crews in Wichita and throughout the U.S. put down sand and brine, a solution of water, salt and magnesium. These treatments make streets safer by providing traction, preventing sliding, and melting ice, but they also cause damage to your car's paint, brakes, frame, and electronic systems. The best way to prevent corrosion and protect your car is to keep it clean all winter.

1. Wash Your Car After Every Winter Storm

The brine solution used to treat roads is acidic. If not cleaned off, it will eat away at the metal and paint on your car. That's why regular washing is important even in the winter. Using the high-pressure hose at a self-service car wash will help reach out-of-the-way areas that may have caught lots of salt and grimy buildup. Make sure you clean the wheel wells and undercarriage too, since that's where most of the chemicals collect.

2. Use Wax to Protect Your Car's Paint

Brine causes corrosion and rust even on new cars, but this preventive measure can help. Before winter weather hits, apply a barrier of polymer wax to protect your car's paint job from road grime, chemicals, salt, brine, and sand. During the cold months, use a spray wax after every wash. This small step can protect your car's appearance, structural integrity, and resale value.

3. Avoid the Salt Trucks

If you can, avoid heading out just prior to a storm and just after a storm, when there is likely to be fresh salt on the roads. This will limit your car' exposure to the corrosive road treatment chemicals.

4. Don't Drive in Deep Snow, Slush or Puddles

Salt builds up in these areas, and if that high-salt content snow gets jammed into the undercarriage of your vehicle, it's hard to get rid of. Corrosion will be much more likely, and damage will result much faster.

These simple steps will keep your car clean and protected in the winter. Stay warm out there!

 

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