Quickly addressing damage caused by winter weather – whether it’s snow, ice or the salt (or sand) used to clear roads – will save you money in the long run, and offers long-term benefits to your vehicle’s look and performance.
“People underestimate the impact winter weather has on their automobile,” said Melissa Miller, Vice President of Operations at CARSTAR North America. “Preventative care, maintenance and minor repairs from winter weather and fender benders can greatly improve the longevity of your vehicle and end up saving you money.”
Winter weather can be incredibly harsh on a car, inflicting potentially thousands of dollars of damage if left unchecked:
- The brine, salt and sand used on roads can leave lasting damage on the undercarriage of your car, and can eat away at paint finishes, leaving a dull, unprotected paint job.
- This same sludge gets tracked into the interior of the vehicle, creating dull, dingy carpets and upholstery.
- Dings and dents from accidents or damage from sleet can worsen in cold weather. As paint chips off, metal is exposed to the elements where rust can quickly develop.
- Cold temperatures can cause rubber components and plastic trim and surfaces to harden, crack and fade, such as windshield wipers, door handles, fenders and bumpers.
When the weather is extreme, you need to make taking care of your car a high priority. Your neighborhood body shop can help keep your vehicle looking good and protected from the elements, and help you address storm damage before it becomes a major problem.
The key is to take your vehicle to your local body shop for a thorough detailing and repairs as soon as the extreme weather stops. There, they can:
- Give it a good bath with car wash soap to remove brine, salt and sand without removing wax protection. This involves cleaning all the wheel wells, undercarriage and engine compartment where these road elements can cause damage and rust.
- Remove scratches, dings and dents before rust sets in.
- Repair any signs of rust damage and repaint the affected areas.
- Give the car a good protective coat of synthetic wax, which chemically bonds with clear-coat finishes and keeps the car’s finish looking good all winter.
- Clean and protect the upholstery with a leather and vinyl restorer and clean the car’s carpet with a high-quality carpet cleaner then protect from additional winter salt and dirt with a protective spray.
If the unfortunate winter accident or weather damage does occur, it is also recommended to have a collision plan in place so you aren’t stranded on the roadside waiting for assistance.
Source: CARSTAR (www.CARSTAR.com)