A car is an expensive investment, perhaps behind your home, so it makes sense that you want to take care of it and keep it well maintained. Many people are unaware of the damage that rain and snow can cause, ranging from cosmetic damage, such as issues with paintwork, to structural damage, such as rust. Luckily, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to keep your pride and joy safe from the worst of the weather, and this post will provide a few hints and tips on how to do so without breaking the bank.
How Can Rain And Snow Damage Your Car?
Snow and rain (and all adverse weather, for that matter) tend to wreak havoc with vehicles of all kinds, not least a car. It can range from cosmetic deterioration in the sense that your paintwork fades or chips over time to more serious issues like rust and dangerous structural damage. Rain is a natural occurrence that is unavoidable but can damage your car and make it vulnerable to accidents. There are several ways in which rain can damage your vehicle. The most common way is through water leaking into your car’s interior, which can cause corrosion and rusting. Another way is through the condensation of water on the outside of your windows, which damages them and causes a build-up of ice on the inside of the windshield and fogging up windows.
Snow is a whole other kettle of fish and can cause severe damage from both the snow itself as well as from the salt and grit used to make the roads safe to drive on. In addition, snow can cause windows to freeze, door handles to size shut, and if it’s cold enough, it might even cause engine liquids to freeze. However, you can avoid most damage with proper car care techniques and a healthy dose of common sense.
Keep Your Vehicle Indoors
The first and most obvious step is to keep your vehicle indoors. If you are lucky enough to have a garage attached to your home, you should empty it of all extraneous things and use the space primarily for car storage. Although you might find that you still need to defrost it each morning after a cold night, you will spare it from the worst of the extreme conditions. If you don’t have a garage and live in an area prone to severe weather considerations, you should seriously consider building one.
Even if an attached garage is the best option, some people simply don’t have the space or money to invest in building one. Fortunately, some companies specialize in creating outdoor garages ranging from a small one-car option to a custom 3 car garage solution able to accommodate many vehicles with room to spare. The great thing about these dedicated garage solutions is that you can customize them however you desire. You could, for example, add extra insulation if you live in a particularly cold location so that your pride and joy is kept at a safe temperature no matter what the weather outside is like.
Use A Car Cover If You Don’t Have Access To Garage
While a garage is the best option, some people don’t have the luck of living in an area blessed with copious amounts of space. If you live in a city or densely populated suburb, you likely have to park your car on the street or a small driveway in front of your home. If this is the case, you still have options. The most apparent is to invest in a high-quality car cover. Now, bear in mind that the key aspect is “high-quality.” You can purchase cheap covers from Walmart or Amazon, which are perfectly adequate for mildly bad weather but will wear out over time and, at worst, can cause more damage by sticking to your paintwork and causing water to pool and freeze as it contacts your bodywork.
Therefore, your best bet is to look for higher-quality covers made by professional automotive companies and come with a form of guarantee. Not only will they last longer, but they will fit your car model perfectly, which should prevent the material from making contact with your car.
Get It Washed And Waxed Before The Weather Turns
Unless you live in Long Beach, California, and don’t understand what lousy weather means, you probably know when the weather begins to turn. If so, you can make use of your prescience and prepare your vehicle for the coming conditions. To this end, you should give your car a deep clean inside and out, replace oils and fluids with cold-weather options and give it a copious coating of wax. This will ensure that your paintwork is ready for the onslaught about to come and will also make it easier for you to maintain the vehicle throughout the period of bad weather.
Avoid Parking Under Trees
This point might be unavoidable in some leafy suburbs, but you should refrain from parking under trees wherever possible. Aside from the high chance of bird droppings, you will have to contend with falling leaves, heavy dripping, and possibly broken branches if the conditions are severe enough. If you have no other option, you can use a car cover as mentioned earlier.
Allow Your Car To Warm Up Before Taking It Out
In cold, snowy conditions, you should allow your car to warm up for some time before setting out. While this isn’t strictly necessary for modern vehicles, it is good practice and an excellent habit to develop. Just ensure you have adequate ventilation and try not to leave it unattended.
Never Use Hot Water To Defrost Your Screen
Never, ever use hot water to melt the ice and snow that accumulates on your windscreen. If you have done this before and nothing has happened, then you have been lucky, but sooner or later, the screen will crack, and you will regret your decision. Consider using a deicer or simply allowing your car’s interior heaters to gently warm up the windscreen before scraping the rest.
Keeping your car safe during rainy or snowy conditions isn’t rocket science. You can avoid most problems as long as you take basic precautions and add a healthy dollop of common sense. Apart from that, keeping your car inside is the best option, followed closely by a car cover if a garage isn’t possible.