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How I prepare my cars for winter weather

- - - - - detailing car wax car wash winter

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#1
Kilroy

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It's October, which means winter weather will be here for some of us. I'd like to show you guys my process for protecting the exterior of my car from snow, salt, ice, and the nasty stuff that goes along with winter weather.

First, the products I'll be using for this job.
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To clean the car I'll be using a Optimum rinseless wash. (center blue bottle) I'm doing this because I don't have access to a hose and driveway, but even if I did, I'd still use a rinseless wash product. For those of you living where there are water restrictions, this process uses 5 gallons of water at the most. The basic procedure is to use 2 small buckets. One is your wash solution, which contains 2 gallons of water and one ounce of rinseless solution. The other bucket is plain water and is used to rinse your wash mitt. Simply dip the wash mitt in the soap solution, wash a small area, and wipe off with a clean microfiber. Rinse the wash mitt in the clean water before putting it back into the soap solution. This will help prevent you from grinding dirt particles into your paint, and scratching your clearcoat. When you're done with this process, you should have a clean dry car.

If you haven't done it in the past year or so, you should clay bar your paint at this point. I didn't do that this time, so I won't detail the process.

The next product I'm going to use is Klasse All-in-one polish. (Red bottle) This is a paint cleaner and acrylic sealant that will leave you with a perfect surface for the wax to adhere to. To apply it, I used a foam pad, let it haze over, then wiped off with a clean microfiber. (You go through a lot of microfiber towels, I think I used 10)

The final and most important product in this process is Collinite 845 Insulator Wax. This stuff is one of the most durable waxes on the market, and fairly easy to apply if you know a little secret. Warm up the bottle, shake very well, and apply thinly. I've heard a few stories about how hard this is to remove, but didn't find that to be true at all. If you have trouble, use a little spritz of quick detailer spray.

Based on other people's experience, I expect this layer of wax to last about 6 months. Having a waxed car will help me clear off snow and ice with less effort, and should keep that nasty salt spray stuff to a minimum.
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The roof looks like glass.
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A front view of the freshly waxed car.

In addition to the paint protection detailed above, I applied RainX to all the windows. If you don't use RainX or something similar, you really should. Water rolls off my windows even when I'm not moving. Above 30mph you'll barely have to use the windshield wipers.
At my upcoming oil change I will be spraying the undercoat with Amsoil Heavy-Duty Metal Protector, which is kind of a waxy coating. I don't know if this stuff works, but it can't hurt to try.

#2
Flash

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What do you do to protect the wheelwells and underside from salt? That was an ongoing problem when I lived in Alaska.

#3
Kilroy

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What do you do to protect the wheelwells and underside from salt? That was an ongoing problem when I lived in Alaska.

I'm hoping the Amsoil product will help with that. Can't endorse it, as I haven't tried it yet.





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