Winter, with ice, snow and aggressive road salt, places high demands not only on motorists, but also on the cars themselves. The subject of rust is omnipresent. We reveal how to get your car through the winter unscathed.
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Modern automotive paints are extremely resistant and designed to withstand a wide range of conditions and stresses. However, even they are powerless against gross mechanical impact. Stone chips, scratches and parking bumps, for example, can cause minor damage to the shimmering outer skin of your car. These give rust a surface to attack. With a few tricks and the right paint care, however, you can counteract this without much effort.
Regular paint care during the winter months
Whether clearly visible or not: Once the individual layers of paint are broken through, the sensitive sheet metal is exposed. The risk of rust increases. What is usually still harmless in the summer months can turn into a serious problem in winter within a very short time. Once the rust has set in, it is all the more difficult to get rid of it again. If you notice damage to the vehicle, therefore, check these places especially often. In many cases, it is also a good idea to reseal minor paint damage yourself, for example with a touch-up pencil. Those who do not trust themselves to do this can also take advantage of a so-called Smart Repair.
High-pressure cleaner instead of car wash
But you should also pay regular attention to the undamaged paint sections in the winter. If the supposedly soft veil of salt dust settles over the outer skin of the car, it can act like sandpaper. Responsible for this are the countless tiny salt crystals that are barely visible to the naked eye. You should therefore under no circumstances simply wipe over the dry paintwork.
Instead, rinse it generously with clean water before lending a hand or applying a paint care product. So-called self-service car wash boxes are particularly suitable here. The trip to the car wash, on the other hand, you should not make too often in winter. These sometimes rely on intensive mechanical cleaning and chemicals that also harm the unprepared varnish. You should also make sure that the car wash of your choice uses gentle textile cloths instead of nylon brushes.
Regular cleaning can work wonders. If you want to go one step further, you can give the paintwork an additional protective layer, for example by using special waxes as part of a polish. In general, the winter-typical combination of humidity. Salt not only a danger for the paint. If you drive a long distance on a freshly gritted freeway, the salt can penetrate into even the smallest corner of your vehicle. This is another reason why you should regularly inspect your car during the cold season. Rinse extensively with clean water. Every now and then you should also treat your vehicle to an underbody wash. This also takes care of places that remain untouched during the usual car wash. Very important: After an extended wash, the car should be able to dry completely again. In any case, a dry and well-ventilated parking area in winter has a particularly positive effect on the state of preservation of a car.
By the way, after the winter an extended freeway stage in the rain can be useful. This way you can also get rid of the last residues of winter from the hidden corners of your car – without having to do it yourself.