Come wintertime and your prized four-wheeler needs all the TLC it can get. Piles of accumulated snow are a nuisance to clean every morning, though this is not the only problem with the cute white flakes.
With snow, there is also often ice which can cause some serious damage to your car. As the snow melts, the excess moisture can cause a buildup of mold, mildew, or even rust.
The best thing is, of course, to keep the car in a garage. But what if you don’t have a garage? Read on to find out.
Winter Protection Tips and Tricks
Tips and tricks to snow-proof your car can be divided into two categories. Car covers, snow shelters, and special wiper fluids can be regarded as the accessories category while the general tips belong to the second. Check out the following sections for more details.
A snow shelter is like a gigantic umbrella for your vehicle. It’s installed on the roof of the car and strapped to the doors and sides. In a way, it’s designed to repel the snow from your vehicle. If installed properly, there’ll be much less wiping and scraping in the morning. But this is not an ideal solution.
As indicated, the shelters are huge and they have an umbrella-like mechanism. This means you probably won’t be able to install the system on your own, especially under harsh weather conditions. Due to the specific design, a snow shelter is also bulky and it might take up too much space in your trunk.
More importantly, the shelter doesn’t cover the entire car. The wheels, sides, and windows are exposed. Also, there might be some snow buildup when it’s windy.
From a user perspective, a car cover is a much better option. It covers the entire vehicle, installation is a walk in a park, and it comes with a securing system to prevent the snow from coming in. You can also get a cover designed for winter conditions and it usually offers better breathability and insulation.
Don’t forget, covers are much more portable than shelters. Most models neatly fold and come with a carrying bag or duffel which doesn’t take too much space in your trunk. Last but not least, there’s no need to wake up a neighbor when you want to remove the cover early in the morning. At this point, you are probably wondering if there are any downsides.
The thing with car covers is that snow accumulates on the car and the cover. That being said, it’s easy to clean because the synthetic materials mitigate icing. All you need to do is give the cover a quick wipe. With this in mind, you also save time because there’s much less or no ice on the windshield.
Winter Wiper Fluids
It’s wise to use winter wiper fluid even if you get a cover for your car. Just to remind you, this is not the same fluid you’d be using during other seasons. Under harsh winter conditions, regular wiper fluid may freeze and do more harm than good.
In other words, get ready for the snow and ice by draining the regular fluid and pouring in the winter solution. Some users go the extra mile and make their own solution. However, it’s advisable to avoid DIY concoctions because they might damage the system or the sprinklers. After all, de-icing wiper fluids are inexpensive and you can get them at any gas station or market.
This one might sound as stating the obvious, but it’s hard to find motivation for a trip to the car wash when it’s a blizzard outside. However, the ice-melting agents and salts accumulate on the surface of your car as you drive and a car cover won’t get them off.
It would be best to give your car a quick clean and wipe before you place the cover. This way you ensure snow, moisture, or ice-melting agents don’t get trapped between the car and the cover.
Wax Your Vehicle
Spending a bit more to get good wax pays in the long run. Wax also provides a good barrier between the car’s clear coat and the snow, dirt, and grime that accumulate over time.
Again, you should prepare in advance and apply the wax before the first snowfall. In general, good wax provides protection for about three months, so you won’t need to reapply unless you live in Alaska.
To recap, a car cover is your best bet to protect the vehicle from snow if you don’t have a garage. But it won’t help if you forget to give your four-wheeler a regular clean up. So keep up the maintenance and cover up to protect your car from the elements.