Top 5 Ways To Ready Your Car For Winter

Silver Porsche Rear View in Winter

#1 | Apply a paint sealant.

The reason I said before that a wax isn’t enough is because harsh weather lessens the bond and protective qualities of a soft paste wax. Polymer based paint sealants, on the other hand, last significantly longer and create a much more durable bond with the finish to shield contaminants such as salt, debris, dust, and more. If you apply now you’ll be good until spring has sprung.

#2 | Protect your wheels and tires.

If you live somewhere like the Midwest, then you know about road salt. What you might not know is how terrible this stuff is for your wheels (and your paint, and your tires, and your skin). The best way to prevent any etching is to protect your wheels with a wheel sealant. It will make removing the salt a breeze, and you wont have to worry about potential damage or drying out your rubber tires.

#3 | Wax your glass.

Ok, so don’t put real wax on the glass, but you should protect it. Visibility decreases significantly when snow shows up, and to be prepared, you want your windows and windshield to have a barrier against moisture. This is a great way to keep your glass clean through poor weather, too… you wont see as many water spots, snow and ice wont cake onto your windshield, and you’ll be seeing perfectly clear while on the road.

#4 | Buy cheap floor mats.

My biggest pet peeve come winter is how filthy the cockpit and passenger area get because of salt, snow, and moisture. It’s such a pain to clean (given it can be freezing outside) and completely avoidable. Go to Walmart, Kmart, Target—which ever you choose—and grab some floor mats for $15. You’ll thank me come March.

#5 | Consider a weatherproof car cover.

I realize car covers aren’t for everybody, but if you don’t have a garage and park on the street, they can save you loads of time if a bad storm hits. I’ve experienced it myself, scraping ice off of my windshield for a good 30 minutes in 10 degree weather. If you cover your car, you’ll essentially be keeping it dry with not only eliminates ice buildup, but also prevents freezing locks, and frosted headlights.

The above are simply some quick, easy, and affordable ways to avoid a gigantic headache as the weather progressively gets worse. Sure, you can avoid damage to your paint with a paint sealant and even keep your interior from getting out of hand with a pair of cheap floor mats, but nothing compares to having a car that’s ready to shine come spring. These will help.

Let us know in the comments what you do to have your car protected during winter (if you have a winter that is)…

  • Michael

    I totally agree but I live in a city and dont have a driveway! Is this a frustrations for anyone else? Any good recommendations on winterizing in the city?

    • Thanks for reading and thanks for your comment!

      You pose a very common (and valid) question. The way I see it, if you live in a city you have three options: find a local car wash/detailing center, find one of those covered self-service centers (if it’s not too cold yet), or find a friend with a garage. I have also heard of people finding a public parking garage and doing some quick detailing that way, but I couldn’t tell you how realistic that is to do.

      Because it’s relatively tough to maintain a car when it’s winter in the city, the key is shielding the car’s exterior surfaces before it gets too cold to do so. If that means taking your car to a local shop I definitely recommend it.

      It sounds to me like this topic warrants its own article…

      – James

  • Nate

    Great tips!