No matter the finish, caring for a car in winter requires a solid understanding of car care. Winter typically means snow, sleet, salt and, of course, a dirtier car, so naturally there’s some concern for matte car owners. How does the finish hold up? Will it be ruined? The list goes on, but I’m here to show you that caring for a matte car in winter is no different than caring for a “normal” glossy car. If you’ve got a matte car or truck as your daily driver, all you have to do is follow these simple rules…
1. Protect the finish once before winter
The best way to keep your finish safe from road salt and mucky snow is to apply a protective sealant. If your car is protected before winter with a matte paint sealant you’ll effectively be creating a barrier for your paintwork against the elements – meaning salt residue is no longer an immediate concern. So while you may notice your car getting filthy on the road, you can remain confident that your paint is protected and out of harm’s way.
2. Wash twice per month
I know this can be a real pain in the depths of winter, but that’s why professional hand washes exist. If you don’t want to be shivering in your garage, find a local detail shop who’ll wash your car by hand. So long as you or they have the proper matte car wash soap, you’ll be fine. Even if they don’t have it you might be able to bring your own if you check with them first.
Recommended read: Build your own undercarriage washer.
3. Seal the wheels
When winter rolls around most people immediately go to paint care. This is mildly silly considering your wheels are the most susceptible to damage and debris – road salt in the rims, sitting in slush, etc. So what do you do? Protect. Grab a non-carnauba wheel sealant that won’t wear away, apply it to your rims before the weather takes a turn for the worse, and rest assured that your wheels are safe from etching and damage.
4. Don’t forget the interior
The big concerns are exterior so I won’t stay on this too long, but you should do everything in your power to avoid salt stains in your car. They can tarnish the cockpit and make your floor mats look like crap. Keep an interior cleaning product handy and buy some cheap rubber floor mats to keep the snow and salt off of your carpeting.
There you have it. As long as you stay on top of things your matte car won’t be damaged, the finish wont be compromised, and come spring you’ll be admiring perfect, flat paintwork. The key, again, is protection and making sure your finish is sealed at all times. This alone is the best way to keep any car looking as close to factory as possible. So if you’re driving your matte vehicle this winter, try it out. Be proactive and beat winter before it beats you and come spring let us know how it went on facebook.