Car Detailing and Winter Vehicle Prep Plans

Car Detailing | Auto Body Shop | Madison WI | Auto Color

Preseason prep saves your vehicle’s surfaces before these bad boys deposit a load of corrosives on the roadway.

A complete car detailing program is an ideal basis for winter vehicle preparation. A professional auto body shop serving the Madison WI area is the place to start as you get your ride ready for what Wisconsin’s wintertime roads throw your way.

Car Detailing Begins With a Clean Vehicle

Even though you may barely see its surface in the midst of winter, your car requires regular washing and waxing all year around. A good, professional car detailing treatment before the corrosives hit the streets is an excellent place to start.

As the temperatures drop and precipitation turns more and more solid, protecting your car’s surface requires a different approach. Here’s a guide to pre-winter prep that can be performed at your nearby auto body shop:

  • Apply a paint sealant – paint sealants are synthetic waxes that provide a shield against water, dirt and road salt. Polymers in sealants form a barrier to water and chemicals. A quality sealant, applied correctly, will last up to six months depending upon extreme exposures to corrosive elements.
  • Deep clean the car before winter – remove all stubborn dirt, stains and road debris early and often as you need it (late fall pothole repairs can result in exposure to oil, tar and asphalt residue that should be removed ASAP.
  • Apply longlasting wax products to metal and plastic surfaces – protecting paint is critical, but providing a barrier between rubber, plastic, glass and metal and road salts is equally important.

The Threat of Road Salt

Car Detailing | Madison WI | Auto Color

Snow and ice, salt and grit work hard to damage your vehicles’ paint, upholstery and carpets all winter long.

Oxidation – rust and corrosion – is the No. 1 enemy of your car’s body and framework. Oxidation is the result of moisture penetrating into cracks and chips in paint and unprotected surfaces. Keeping a vehicle clean and regularly inspecting any damage is vital – even small cracks and chips in the paint are like open wounds. Any new dings in the paint should be sealed with quality sealant immediately – don’t leave the door open for corrosives. Road salt speeds up the oxidation process with its corrosive effects. The best defense is regular, thorough car washes – don’t wait until spring!

When you’re considering the options for sealants and protection for at risk surfaces – inside and outside – consult a car detailing professional.

Check Into the Auto Body Shop for a Whole Car Detailing

A periodic trip to the auto body shop is like taking your car to a spa. The professionals are trained and equipped to provide for all the requirements of getting your ride ready to take on winter. There’s more to consider than paint. Here’s a list of a few other special areas of concentration that fall into the realm of car detailing as a prep for winter driving:

  • Pay attention to wheels/rims – clean and inspect each rim with an extra-strength cleaner. Protect wheels and rims with sealant, too. Wheels and rims get the worst of road salt and corrosion plus a beating from broken pavement, ice and debris. Greasy road debris can hold salt so it has more time to work.
  • Tires – Tires take a beating in the winter and even the highest of the high-tech rubber compounds ages faster with a steady diet of road salt. Start your prep with a detailed inspection of the tread – worn tires are no match for a coating of ice! Damaged sidewalls are also big risks in cold weather. Check air pressure regularly because tires, rims and wheels can change with extreme temperature shifts. Apply a good quality tire dressing material to help keep salt and grime from sticking.
  • Trim – bumpers, side moldings, wiper blades and door seals need protection from grime, salt and temperature shifts. These materials not only become more brittle and subject to  cracks when it gets really cold, they can degenerate with repeated exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays that can be extremely harsh in the winter.

TIP FROM A PRO – if you have a convertible or Jeep with a canvas top your soft top needs particular attention because moisture can penetrate seams where thaw/freeze action can stress the stitching while leading to deterioration of the materials. Repeated exposure to road salt will also discolor and damage fabric tops of all kinds. Your auto body shop consultants can truly water- and stain-proof the fabric portions.

  • Don’t neglect the interior – throughout the winter you and your passengers will track mud, slush, snow and a soup of road salt water and who knows what into your car’s interior. Just like keeping the floors in your home clean and polished, now’s the time when car detailing includes a good vacuuming, carpet cleaning and protective wax on the inside. Winter is especially hard on leather interiors – cold air dries out leather and can lead to cracks.

TIP FROM A PRO – Your leather needs to be treated before the cold hits. Leather won’t accept conditioning products when the temperature dips below 50°F so get it professionally cleaned and provide a moisture boost as soon as possible.

Choose Car Detailing Professionals for Quality Results

When you need reliable preseason prep for your vehicles, call Auto Color. Visit either of our two complete auto body shop locations in the Madison WI area – West on Parmenter Road in Middleton and East on Stoughton Road.

Call Auto Color Middleton at 608-831-9554 or Auto Color East Madison at 608-221-5041, or email us to explore all the benefits of skilled auto body shop technicians for the highest-quality car detailing in Madison WI.

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