Surviving winter can be rough in our neck of the woods. Between the short days, numbing temps, mounds of snow, and dangerous ice that refuses to melt, we reach a point where we're ready to kick old man winter to the curb. But while we sit inside our warm homes or offices and gripe about the weather, we forget what takes the brunt of the seasonal abuse - our vehicles. Whether driving on the road or parked on the driveway, our cars get beat up by ice, snow, and road salt. Luckily, you can protect your vehicle from damage with these 5 simple tools and tricks.
1. Get a Windshield Snow Cover
A frozen windshield is the last thing you want to encounter when you're already running late on a frigid winter morning. Although the icy coating likely won't hurt your vehicle, some common methods to speed up the deicing process will. Using a metal scraper can scratch your windshield, and pouring hot water over the ice can cause the glass to crack. One solution to avoid the tedious scraping process and keep your windshield safe is to use a windshield cover designed for snow. The Cosyzone ($14) is made from 4 layers of waterproof and ice resistant material to protect your car from the elements and help you get on the road in record time.
2. Use an Ice Scraper on the Windows Only
If you wake up to find a winter storm has buried your vehicle in snow, you'll likely be scrambling to clear the mess as quickly as possible so you can get behind the wheel and out of the cold. Although an ice scraper will be essential to clear off your windshield and windows, you should never use it to remove snow or ice from the rest of your vehicle because you risk damaging your car's paint. A high-quality ice scraper and brush combo like the Gejrio ($26) will be a lifesaver in this situation. This extendable brush with a detachable ice scraper helps you tackle the stubborn snow and ice in hard to reach areas without posing a threat to your vehicle's paint job.
3. Safeguard Your Car's Paint
Snow, ice, and road salt are not your car's friends when it comes to keeping the exterior damage-free. These elements will not only dull your car's paint but can also put the vehicle at risk for rust and oxidation. The rust can break down the clear coating of your paint job and even damage the frame. Thankfully, the solution to protect your car is as simple as a good DIY wax job. Applying a coat of wax creates a barrier between your vehicle's paint and the moisture to prevent scratches in your paint. Use a high-quality wax like the Car Guys Ultimate Liquid Wax Kit ($25) to keep your exterior looking new year-round. Focus on the hardest-hit areas of your vehicle like behind the wheels, quarter panels, and front grille where ice, snow, and salt tend to accumulate.
4. Invest in a Car Tent
If you don't have a garage or carport to protect your vehicle from winter's wrath, you can easily add a car canopy to your driveway without breaking the bank. A heavy-duty car tent like the Galsoar ($190) offers 4-season protection from snow, rain, and the sun's rays which can harm your vehicle's paint. The galvanized frame, reinforced by high strength steel cables, provides stability even in high winds and storms. Measuring 10'x20', the tent covers 200 square feet and is constructed from a waterproof, UV-resistant, and tear-proof fabric that is designed for longevity.
5. Use Universal All-Weather Floor Mats
The exterior of your vehicle may be most susceptible to the elements, but the snow, slush, and salt will inevitably force their way inside to wreak havoc on your car floor. The best way to protect your interior from winter's devilry is with a set of all-weather floor mats designed to withstand even the roughest abuse. Made in the USA, the WeatherTech Universal All-Weather Floor Mats ($36+) fit nearly any vehicle with their unique shape and trim-to-fit design. The mats stay flexible even in subzero temperatures and their deep sculpted channels trap water, road salt, mud, and sand.
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