The winter season brings with it many joyful events such as Christmas and New Year for most countries. It is truly a time to celebrate and enjoy.
But for some people, winter is not the happiest season out there. We’re talking about car owners. Those of you who own a car know that winter can really put your car maintenance habits to the test. If you don’t take extra care of your car in winter, you may shorten its life span drastically.
Why are winters so bad for vehicles? Salty roads, cold morning starts, and damp weather that makes your car rust are certainly not good for your vehicle.
Is there anything that can be done to prevent damage to your car? Well, that is why we are here. In this article, we will talk about how to prevent winter damage and rust.
1. Regular Car Washes
Snow in winter covers all roads and paths and makes it difficult for you to drive your vehicle. The city authorities use salt to melt the ice and clear the road.
Using salt is good for the road, but it is terrible for vehicles. If you drive on salted roads, the salt will stick to your vehicle everywhere and increase the risk of corrosion and rust.
To prevent this from happening too much, it is a good idea to have your vehicle washed regularly.
Try to wash your car at least 1-2 times per month during the winter to keep the rust and salt away. You often have to use special products to get rid of all rust and salt in the paint job.
We do never recommend going to automatic car washes because they are often damaging the paint. However, we also understand that many people do not have their own garage to wash their car.
You can often find car washing companies that are washing your car manually, and we strongly recommend this.
2. Apply Wax to the Paint Job
You want to prevent dirt and salt from accumulating on the body of your vehicle. This can be easily prevented by applying an extra layer of wax to the paintwork after your car washes.
The wax does not allow dirt to stick to the car and prevents the formation of rust. The areas where the car is most exposed, such as the chassis and the area near the wheels, require special care in winter. So don’t forget to get your car in shape just before the onset of winter.
3. Rust Protection
Today there are many rust protection products on the market that can be applied to your car’s chassis. The underbody is most exposed to salt, water, and snow and is, therefore, most susceptible to rust damage. A single layer of rust protection can extend the life of your car.
You can either do this yourself or let an auto body shop do this for you. Doing it yourself can be quite time-consuming if you do not have the right tools for it.
Many newer cars have either a lot of plastic covers under the car protecting them for this. However, it can get dirt stuck under these covers, which will cause rust, and it is recommended to remove these plastic covers to check for rust sometimes when you have your car raised.
4. Clean the Drains
All cars have drains in certain areas that prevent water from stagnating in one place. There are drains in the doors and parts of the fender. These drains can be blocked by dirt or leaves that prevent water from escaping.
In such cases, instead of draining water from the body, they block the vehicle’s water and promote rust.
You will also found a few of these under the car’s rocker panels and in other places underneath the car. Check under the cars for any holes that look blocked. You often have a hose from under the front windshield going under the car, which needs to be drained and clean.
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5. All-Weather Mats
The interior of the car must also be protected from moisture. When you get into your car, you often bring some snow or salt with you. This snow or salt may not be present in large quantities, but even a small amount can be lethal. There may come the point where the floor of your car gets rusted, and then your chassis becomes weak.
You have to prevent this from happening, and all you need to do is buy all-weather mats. These mats do not allow water, dirt, or other materials to get onto the carpet. In this way, they protect the floor and at the same time allow you to remove the harmful contents from the car without damaging anything else.
6. Undercoating with Oil
We talked about rust protection products and how they prevent corrosion under the car. But we did not mention that these products are a bit expensive. Some of you may not be able to afford rust protection.
Fortunately, there’s a hack for that. We can borrow the expertise of old farmers who undercoated their trucks and tractors with used oil to prevent rust. The waste oil serves no other purpose and cannot be reused in a vehicle, which is used as underbody rust protection.
The oil absorbs all the dirt and salt from the roads and does not allow any of it to pass onto the metal. As long as the metal is protected from harmful materials, it stays in good shape.
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Prevent Rust FAQ
Does washing your car in winter prevent rust?
Yes, washing your car frequently during the winter is the best way to prevent your car from rust. Remember that you need to use the right products to remove all dirt from the paint when washing it also.
How do I stop my car from rusting getting worse?
The best way is to remove the rust and apply some anti-rust spray around and over the area. Frequent washes do also prevent it from rusting more.
Can you prevent rust from spreading?
Once a piece of metal starts to rust on a car, it isn’t easy to make it stop without replacing the part or sanding it down completely and adding new paint. However, in some cases, you can add rust preventers to slow down the rust procedure a lot.
Can washing your car cause rust?
If you are washing your car way too frequently or using the wrong washing products, it can absolutely make your car rust more. It is more likely that it will start from too infrequently, though.
Hi, I’m Magnus, the owner and the writer of Mechanic Base. I have been working with cars for 10 years, specialized in diagnostics and troubleshooting. I created this blog because I was tired of finding false information on the web while looking for repair information. I hope you enjoy my content!