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Complete Auto Repair & Maintenance in Fort Collins Colorado
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How to Protect Your Car Paint in Winter

Your car’s paint job is subjected to bad weather in every season, but the flying gravel, road salts, and deicers in winter wreak the most havoc. Worn paint is unattractive and can lower your car’s value if you decide to sell it in the future. Follow these tips to protect your car paint from harsh winter conditions.

Apply Polymer Wax

protect-your-car-paint-with-polymer-waxYour skin becomes dry and chapped every winter, especially in our dry climate, so you probably wear gloves to protect them. Applying a polymer wax to your car provides the same sort of protective layer, helping to keep road salt, grime, snow, and slush from negatively impacting your paint job.

You can apply the wax either by hand or with a polisher. Regardless of your choice, always apply wax to a completely dry vehicle parked in the shade. Apply the thinnest coat of wax possible, and if you want to apply a second coat later, wait until the necessary curing time (usually 12 to 18 hours) has passed. After waxing, buff the haze away with a microfiber towel.

Power Wash Your Car

After a winter storm leaves grit and grime clinging to your car, spray it clean with a power washer set to the lowest pressure setting. You don’t want to strip the paint off your car with super high water pressure, but a power washer loosens grime better than a simple garden hose.

Wait until the weather clears up and the temperature is well above freezing to spray your car so it dries quickly and you don’t inadvertently freeze the doors shut. While you want to wait for the right conditions, spray down your car as soon as possible after a storm to reduce the chance of paint damage.

Add Spray Wax

Protect your car paint again by applying a spray wax in mid-winter as a complement to the polymer wax you applied at the start of the season. Spray wax comes in a convenient spray bottle and is easy to apply and wipe off. It’s so effortless, in fact, that you can get the kids to pitch in without fear of them messing something up.

Install a Paint Protection Film

protect-your-car-paint-with-a-paint-protection-filmWhen traveling at high speeds, gravel and rocks go flying into the air, making your car’s paint job susceptible to dings and scratches. The front half of your car is the most vulnerable.

The traditional method for preventing front-end paint damage is to put a black vinyl “bra” over the nose of your car. But is this unattractive addition worth the paint protection it provides? Fortunately, you don’t have to decide because there’s another option: a paint protection film.

This clear film is quite thin but durable, providing an added layer of paint-saving protection for your car’s nose and side mirrors. Once the film is applied, it’s hardly discernible, yet it provides ample protection against rock chips all year round.

Scrape Away Snow and Ice Carefully

Colorado is no stranger to snow each winter. Keep a soft snow brush and ice scraper in your car all season long so bad weather never catches you off-guard. Never use hard plastic scrapers on the body of your car since this could scratch the paint.

Give Your Car a Spring Cleaning

Once winter loosens its grip and the weather finally warms up for good, it’s time to deep-clean your car. Interior and exterior auto detailing removes all traces of winter and helps your car paint look its very best.

Keep Your Car in Good Shape with Help from Scott’s Fort Collins Auto

Even the most beautiful car paint job is worthless if something’s wrong under the hood. Whether you simply need maintenance performed on your car or a major repair, let Scott’s Fort Collins Auto help. Just schedule an appointment online or call us at 970-682-4202 the next time your car needs work.

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