Salty goodness is great on a pretzel, but on your car? Not so much. Winter means snow and ice, which, in turn, means road salt. And road salt can wreak havoc on your car's paint job and undercarriage. It takes a little effort, but you can minimize the corrosive effects with these four basic Leith Honda Raleigh tips.
Seal of approval
Before the winter months come, do yourself and your wallet a favor and treat your car with a paint sealant. Paint sealants will help prolong the life of your paint job by protecting your car from harmful UV rays and corrosives like road salt. Sealants work by creating a protective barrier between your car's paint and the elements. Although your paint might look solid, it's actually quite porous and absorbs moisture and all the icks that come with it. The protective coat provides a slick barrier that will help keep your car's finish.
The whole ball of wax
If high-tech polymers aren't your bag or you failed high school science, wax provides a natural alternative. A high quality wax can provide a layer of protection for your car's finish too. Like a sealant, wax creates a protective barrier between your car's paint and the elements. A natural (and somewhat more expensive) wax like Carnauba gives the car a nice, deep rich glow. (There's a reason most car enthusiast use it.) Wax is generally cheaper than synthetic sealants, but needs to be applied more often.
Wash it! Wash it good!
Wash it often. Really often. No matter how much wax or sealant you put on your car, your best bet for maintaining your car's exterior is a good old fashioned car wash. If you can, wait until the temperatures rise above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, then take your car to a professional car wash. Be sure to fork over the extra for the undercarriage. You should wash your car every week or two and always right after a storm.
If you can't get to a car wash that often, put on some gloves and use a garden hose. Don't forget to give the wheel wells and undercarriage a good blast. Remember to dry the edges of the doors, trunk and hood so they don't freeze shut.
If you have to park outside, dig into that piggybank and get yourself a quality car cover. Don't settle for a cheapie. Poorly made car covers won't keep the water out and they can even scratch your paint as you take them on and off. Get a durable cover that's made of high-quality material. You'll pay a little more for it, but you'll save on expensive detailing work in the long run.