Winter Can Be A Tough Season On
Your Vehicle's Paint Finish
Snow, rain, ice, road salt and gravel -- all can contribute to the
deterioration of even today's durable finishes. Yet there are some simple things
you can do to help protect your vehicle's paint this winter and throughout the
"Caring for your car's paint is obviously a good investment," says David
Heckeler of I-CAR, a nonprofit collision repair training organization. "A
well-maintained finish enhances the vehicle's value at trade-in time. More
importantly, the paint helps prevent rusting of sheet-metal parts."
Therefore, one of the best ways to protect your vehicle's finish, according
to Heckeler, is to park out of the elements whenever possible. If you do have to
park outdoors in the winter, don't use an ice scraper on anything but the
windows; scraping ice or snow off painted surfaces is likely to damage the
If you live in an area that uses road salt to melt ice or snow, Heckeler says
it's a good idea to frequently clean and rinse areas of
the vehicle where salt might collect. This includes the engine compartment and
wheel wells, lower trim pieces, and inside door edges.
Another culprit identified by Heckeler is gravel used to improve traction on
slippery roads. It can be damaging to a vehicle's finish.
Slow down, not only to avoid losing control of your vehicle, but also to
reduce the amount of gravel kicked up onto your vehicle and the vehicles behind
you. Stay far enough back from the vehicle in front of you so that you're not
driving into a spray of gravel.
Courtesy of the
Car Care Council