How to Protect Your Car From Damage During the Winter Season
Written by DriveAxis.ca December 28, 2022
Canadian winters tend to be a rough affair, especially on vehicles. Even if you’re a fan of the outdoors during the cold season, your car will inevitably take a beating as it endures the elements over the course of a few months. Therefore, it’s important to know how to keep your car in great condition, while protecting it from damage that might accumulate when things get icy outside.
Preventative maintenance goes a long way towards ensuring that Canadian winters don’t wreak havoc on your vehicle and contribute to premature wear. With just a few simple steps, you can make sure that your car will make it through the winter season and emerge intact in time for spring.
MIND THE SALT
Salt is one of the most common materials used by municipalities to ensure that drivers don’t slip and slide through intersections and cause massive numbers of accidents. While it’s not a guarantee of safety, it does do a lot to break down ice that accumulates on roads, which can be a major hazard. Unfortunately, salt is also a corrosive material that, if left untreated, will contribute to premature rust of your vehicle.
Salt eliminator treatments go a long way towards preventing this from happening. Use them in place of regular water when cleaning your vehicle, and you’ll be in a far better position to eliminate salt deposits that might otherwise build up and start eating their way through your vehicle’s underbody. Afterwards, you can apply a rust inhibitor for an extra layer of protection, keeping your car looking and running its best.
BE WARY OF RUST
Rust inhibitors are relatively inexpensive, and need only be applied to your car roughly once a year. Adding it just before the winter season hits is a great way to add protection to your car, and prevent rust from building up over time. It’s a far less costly prospect than having to replace car components that have been eaten through with rust, and it can also help maintain the resale value of your car, should you wish to sell or trade it in.
Always remember that the ferocity of Canadian winters necessitates the use of things that will contribute to rusting if left unchecked, so don’t overlook a rust inhibitor treatment. It’s once-a-year treatment schedule is easy to maintain, and it’s one of the most proactive methods of car protection you can take advantage of.
RUBBER FLOOR MATS
The outside of the car gets its fair share of knocks during the winter months, but what about the interior? With so much snow and slush on your boots each time you get into your car, those precious floor mats are bound to take a pounding. That’s why it pays to invest in a set of winter floor mats that can properly pool all that excess salt water and dirt, and prevent it from digging into the fabric of your summer cloth mats.
These mats are typically made of rubber or similar material, and therefore are immune to the kind of damage that a typical cloth mat would suffer from. Swapping summer mats for winters is a breeze, and takes only a minute or two. Otherwise, the sight of your summer mats after a long winter season will be atrocious.
Ice is a major threat to your vehicle, in more ways than one. Whether mobile or stationery, you should always be on the lookout for it, and take steps to prevent it from leaving nasty damages on your car. First, it’s good practice to stay clear of other vehicles when you’re driving, especially during exceptionally icy conditions. Leave a good distance between yourself and the car in front of you so that no chunks of ice are kicked up by the back tires. These blade-like shards of ice can impact the front grill, your hood, or even your windshield. Aside from possible body damage, this can also affect your visibility when driving.
The second threat from ice is the stationery kind, which tends to build up after a long night’s worth of snowfall or freezing rain. Many Canadians awake to the awful sight of their car covered in a thick layer of ice, which necessitates the need to chisel it off the windshield with a scraper. Be very careful, as this can cause damage to the windshield. It’s good practice to turn the car on and get the front window heater going so that it softens the ice from within, making it easier to remove. Be mindful of the car’s body, as well. Freezing rain can leave thick deposits of ice on the doors, hood and roof, and chipping away at it can lead to serious gashes in the body, which can be costly.
Driving during a Canadian winter is practically a rite of passage for any citizen, whether generational or new to the country. We all need a few reminders on how to handle harsh winter weather so that our cars run the best they can, without accumulating damage in the process. Always keep the above guidelines in mind, and you’ll avoid costly repairs and serious long-term damages.
Interested in a new car that can tackle the Canadian winter with ease? Drive Axis has an inventory just waiting for you to browse! If you’re not sure which car is the best, feel free to contact us, and we’ll be glad to help! Remember, we approve everyone through our in-house financing system, regardless of their credit history!