Some people may consider the winter months “the most wonderful time of the year,” but this is not always true for our vehicles. Here in New England, winter’s impact on our cars from freezing temperatures and road salt to increased precipitation can present a variety of vehicle maintenance headaches. Make sure that you’re prepared for all the ice, sleet, salt and snow that you may encounter by following these handy tips to protect your car and stay safe driving during winter conditions.
Undercarriage Damage Concerns
Road salt and ice build up on your undercarriage can lead to a variety of issues for your vehicle. Ice build up can affect your brakes and steering. It is important to make sure the wheels, brakes, and the rest of the undercarriage is not coated with ice, sludge, or salt. Furthermore, salt can lead to an increase in vehicle rusting. Keeping a clean undercarriage will prolong the life of your vehicle and protect your safety. At all ScrubaDub professional car wash tunnels you can add “undercarriage cleaning” to any carwash package if it’s not already included.
Maintain Exterior Lights
The days are much shorter in the winter and come 5pm when many people are driving home from work, you will often find that less daylight, snow and fog can make it more difficult for drivers to see road conditions. Therefore, it’s critical that you keep your exterior lights in the best condition to see properly. Many headlights have plastic covers that begin to yellow and oxidize over time so light output begins to diminish creating dangerous poor visibility. This can easily be fixed with a headlight restoration service offered at many full-service car wash facilities like ScrubaDub locations in Warwick Rhode Island, or our Massachusetts stores in Boston, Natick, Brookline and more. Also don’t forget to check if headlight bulbs need to be replaced during your next vehicle service visit.
Paint and Clear Coat Protection From Snow and Salt
The winter months come with additional worries for your car’s paint and clear coats. Prolonged salt from the winter on your vehicle can eat away at your clear coat, furthering the chances of blemishes on your vehicle. Salt may also cause rust spots on your vehicle. Furthermore, winter presents an increased threat of scratches to the painted surfaces of your vehicle. As ice, road sludge, and salt build up on your car the chances for these materials to lead to scratches and swirl marks become higher. The first strategy to remember for snow removal is it’s crucial to only remove snow from the painted surfaces of your car with a soft brush or soft foam head ideally on a tool with a retractable handle so you don’t accidentally scratch your car. Having your professional car wash apply wax or ceramic as you regularly wash the car in winter will also provide a protective barrier to your car’s paint. Unlimited car wash services with wax are a great investment to protect your vehicles paint in the Winter months.
Emergency Car Kit, Winter Tires and Windshield Wiper Fluid
What is an emergency car kit? Think of it as first aid for you and your car. This should contain everything that you could possibly need for a breakdown. Jumper cables, ice melt, a flashlight, blankets, food items, first aid kit, and a tire pressure gauge are handy starters. It is practical to have an emergency kit kept in your vehicles at all times because you never know what obstacles mother nature will bring.
If you are located on the East Coast or in the northern states then you should make sure to have all-weather or winter tires installed on your car. Do this at the end of the Fall season before you start to notice winter conditions. If your vehicle has performance or summer tires, it is likely you will have to add air to them frequently during the cold months. Cold temperatures compress the air molecules in your tires, filling less spaces, and giving you lower tire pressure. Low tire pressure can affect aspects of vehicle performance from steering to gas mileage. You will surely notice that winter tires make all the difference.
Lastly, make sure that you use adequate winter windshield wiper fluid for cold temperatures. Ordinary fluid used in the spring, summer and fall months often doesn’t work well in the winter, because it freezes quickly upon contact with the windshield. The lower temperatures call for winter fluid which won’t freeze and will help loosen ice and snow from the glass, making it easier to keep clear.
Winter Car Washing
Regular cleaning of your car is an important part of maintenance throughout the year but it’s especially important in winter climates with snow. Visiting a professional drive-through car wash like ScrubaDub is a good practice that takes little money and effort to help address the winter car care areas highlighted in this blog post. In the winter, sludge and snow can build up under the tires and undercarriage so it is important to remove this and clean the car thoroughly. A regular wash and wax will help protect your car’s surfaces from salt damage and rust. Most importantly, On new vehicles it is now very important to wash winter elements from cameras, sensors, and safety features. This will allow for your car to continue running at peak performance, keeping you safe all winter long. Happy washing!