Preparing Your Vehicle's Finish For Winter


Preparing Your Vehicle's Finish For Winter


Preparing Your Vehicle's Finish For Winter



Protecting your car's exterior from winter conditions is more crucial than  you think. If you live in a climate where you experience snow or icy conditions than you want to make sure you do call you can to protect your finish. Between the salt, sand, and mix of chemicals your paint is exposed to elements that can negatively effect appearance. On top of the salt and sand you may wonder what you car is being exposed to.

Sodium chloride (salt), magnesium chloride, calcium chloride,
calcium magnesium acetate and potassium acetate are chemicals
used to prevent and remove snow and ice from roadways. VDOT
uses liquid magnesium chloride, calcium chloride and sodium
chloride for anti-icing and pre-treatment. Sodium chloride and
calcium chloride in dry form are used for de-icing but can be used in
some cases for anti-icing.

Doesn't sound very good does it? Well don't worry. We have some tips to help make sure you protect your car, truck, or suv from these harsh elements and keep it easy to clean.

You can protect your paint by applying a wax, sealant, or coating. Which you choose depends on how long you want to keep your paint protected, what kind of winter your vehicle is exposed to, and what kind of maintenance your able to do during winter.

Ceramic Coating:

The best bet for protecting your finish is using a ceramic coating such as the ServFaces Ultima coating. While a coating inevitably takes time to prep the car and time to properly apply it can protect your car for more then just the winter season. If applied correctly and maintained properly a coating can last for years not just months. Not only will it protect your car for a long period of time it generally makes cleaning a breeze as it creates a super hydrophobic barrier that dirt and water fall right off of.


Paint Sealant:

If a coating is option is a bit too much work for you, than a paint sealant is the next best option. Usually synthetic made it is a step above and beyond wax in terms of durability, shine, and protection capability. A product like Griot's One Step Sealant is a great way to not only remove light swirls and oxidization but protect the paint for months to come. If your looking for an ultimate paint sealant that just has one job, protecting paint, then try the Jescar Power Lock Polymer Sealant. It offers the latest polymer technology that not only lasts longer, it keeps the paint feeling slicker to the touch.



While wax is a great way to enhance gloss, color, and offer some protection, it doesn't offer the best protection. While it requires the same amount of effort to apply as a sealant and costs about the same, a wax is best used in the summer as it generally only lasts a few weeks. It is also great before shows or great to enhance that shine. If you only experience mild winter conditions and have the time to apply a coating of wax per month during the winter then this is a suitable option as well. A fan favorite is the Collinite No. 845 Insulator Wax. It can be used on a variety of surfaces from metals to boat finishes. If you want something designed specifically for automotive paint try the Griot's Paste Wax or the Adam's Buttery Wax. Both offer brilliant shine and offer an option for those who prefer paste over liquid wax or vice versa.



Just as much as proper protection is crucial to keeping your vehicle's finish protected, washing the salt, sand, chemicals, and road grime off is just as crucial. Make sure to use a ph balanced soap that is extra slick to help prevent against putting swirl marks into the paint while trying to remove the large particles of sand. Something like the Carpro Hydro Foam offers a slick wash along with protective properties to help enhance protection and durability of your wax, sealant, or coating. If the conditions are too cold to allow for a normal wash process the next best option is a waterless wash. For that we recommend trying either the Adam's Waterless Wash or the Limitless Waterless Wipe. Both are packed full of emulsifiers and plenty of lubricity to help ensure a safe and effective removal of contaminants.


Hopefully these tips are helpful in ensuring your vehicle's exterior stays protected from all that winter has to offer. Remember to stay safe out there during winter conditions as they can be unforgiving. Happy Detailing!!!


By Jared Brachfeld