Winter car care: five ways to keep rust at bay
It’s no secret that road salt is terrible for our cars. It does a great job melting ice and keeping roads safe during the winter, but it’s also a major catalyst for rust. Of course, putting your car in storage until the return of warmer days is the best way to keep it safe from winter’s harsh effects, but if that isn’t an option, here are some ways you can help prevent rust from taking hold in the cold:
1. Have your car professionally rustproofed. This is especially recommended if you frequently park indoors. Drastic temperature variations, especially combined with the humid air in garages, provide rust with the perfect environment to thrive.
2. Slow down and keep your distances. It’s the best way to minimize contact with road debris (e.g. salt, sand, rocks from other cars). Your paint job will thank you!
3. Protect the body. Install mud flaps, a grille guard (clean it often to avoid an accumulation of road salt, which could scratch the paint), or clear plastic strips to protect the lower body frame.
4. Wash your car often. It’s important to clean your vehicle periodically during the winter — even though the results won’t last long! — to get rid of calcium deposits and other dirt. A dirty car is more likely to rust. Make sure to thoroughly dry everything off, and avoid washing your car when temperatures fall below -10 °C.
5. Apply surface wax. This will protect your paint job, but you’ll need to act fast: the procedure requires outdoor temperatures above 10 °C to be successful.