Protect Your Car From Winter Salt Damage

Winters in Fort Collins can be brutal, flinging snow, ice, and wind across the streets and through our neighborhoods. Thankfully, our city works hard to keep the roads clear and safe, but have to put down tons of salt to prevent slippery conditions. While this seemingly benign compound works wonders to break up ice and provide traction, it can wreak havoc on your vehicle. The salt, especially when combined with moisture, acts as a corrosive and can slowly eat away at your paint job, your car’s undercarriage, and even the body itself.

Too many people go through the entire winter season without washing or waxing their vehicle, and may end up needing expensive auto repair services. It might sound silly to wash your car with snow in the forecast, but it’s a smart idea to protect what is arguably one of your biggest investments. This is especially important for cars that are parked outside, because they are even more exposed to the elements, and tend to wear down faster in harsh climates.

There’s nothing you can do about how much snow falls, or how much salt the city lays down on the streets, but there are a few simple steps that you can take to protect your vehicle from the winter onslaught. Here are our recommendations:

  1. Prepare early

In late Autumn, before the snow hits, invest in a very thorough and detailed cleaning. Then apply a good coat of wax and wax sealant to repel the moisture and boost shine. This is also a great time to order another tube of touchup paint.

  1. Go in to a mechanic

It’s always a good idea to have everything checked out by a mechanic, so you know what you’re up against in the winter. Because if you don’t know the parts that are wearing out or starting to rust, the added stress of winter ice and salt may push your car into more serious issues and auto repair emergencies.

  1. Wash and wax regularly

Pay attention to the forecast and choose a day every 4-6 weeks for a wash and wax. Be sure to thoroughly wash the undercarriage, wheel wells, doorjambs, and other spots that are prone to rust. Spring for a higher grade wax this time of year to protect your paint job and make your wash last longer.

  1. Garage whenever you can

Not everyone in Fort Collins has the luxury of parking in a garage every night, but if you really want to protect your car, try to find a garage when and where you can. This will protect your car from falling snow and icy winds, while allowing the salty icy crust to melt off the undercarriage. And the less that salt is in contact with your car, the better.

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