Professional Carwashing & Detailing

How to prepare a vehicle for cold weather

October 10, 2012

CHICAGO — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predictions for the 2012-2013 winter call for temperatures to be about 18 percent colder and above average snowfall is expected for cities such as New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., according to a press release.

But, if a driver waits until the thermometer hits freezing to begin preparing a car for harsh winter elements, it is too late. Detailers should let customers know that taking the proper planning steps before winter hits will help protect a car from damage. Winterizing a car or truck will help prevent interior and exterior damage and avoid bigger problems down the road.

“The winter driving season and harsh weather conditions can be particularly damaging to your vehicle, so it’s important to start preparing your car against harmful elements in the fall before temperatures really drop,” said Mike Schultz, senior vice president of product development for Turtle Wax. “Early preparation can allow for cars to perform better during the hazardous driving conditions and is an all-around safer practice.”

To get a vehicle ready for cold weather, the car care experts at Turtle Wax offered the following winter preparation tips:

Wax on, winter off – To keep a vehicle cleaner, longer during winter months, a car should be thoroughly washed and waxed before the cold weather hits. Wax will help prevent oxidation from dulling and damaging your vehicle’s exterior. For best results, first use a product that will deep clean a vehicle’s exterior and remove any stubborn dirt and stains. Then select a long-lasting car wax that can be applied to the entire exterior, including all metal, plastic and rubber surfaces, and will provide a protective barrier against road salt, snow and other inclement conditions.

Prepare the interior – Winter elements can also cause damage to the inside of a car. To prevent tracked-in mud, slush and snow from staining an interior, prep a vehicle with protective floor mats and clean with an interior product that leaves behind a protective barrier against stains. Don’t forget to recommend the removal of any water based products, which can freeze and crack during winter, as well as any unnecessary items that can weigh down a car and lower fuel efficiency.

Check tires Damaged tires are no match for sleek, slippery roads. Get tires winter-ready by first examining their tread for thin or uneven tread wear, which reduces traction and can be very dangerous in winter weather. Cut or damaged sidewalls are also weak areas that can collapse under severe weather conditions. Remember to check the air pressure in tires before and during winter months to ensure the best traction and mileage. Once the tires are in good shape, apply tire cleaner and protectant to help repel winter elements. Today, some tire products eliminate harsh scrubbing – they just spray on and hose off. Some also contain wax, which adds a protective barrier against harsh weather conditions such as snow, ice and more.