During the winter months your car has to endure some harsh environmental factors. Everything can be affected here from your plastic trims to your paintwork and wheels so it’s well worth getting prepared now before the harsh weather comes.

We have prepared this guide to help you look after and protect your car during winter with the use of some excellent products, let's start with the paintwork.

Paintwork Protection

This is one of the most important steps and the one you must focus on. We all know what winter is like, grit, rain and snow which means our cars get covered in salt. This can damage your paintwork and its best to lay some protection down to form a barrier against the harsh elements. You want to start doing this now.

Now of course you want to wash your car in the normal way, depending on how it looks you may want to polish it. Then to move onto protecting it, and there is a few ways of doing this.

TOP TIP: The more you prepare your vehicles paintwork the better the wax and sealant can bond, thus making it last longer. If time permits we recommend a full decontamination which involves claying and removing tar and iron fallout from your vehicles paintwork also. More information on paintwork decontamination can be found on our Decontamination Guide.

Traditional carnauba based car waxes do not hold up in harsh winter conditions so alternatively you could lay down a paint sealant like Chemical Guys Jetseal 109 and leave it at that. Or you could additionally add a wax on top of the sealant to add further protection and there is no other wax better at the job than Collinite 476s Wax or Collinite 845 Insulator Wax. Your cars paintwork will now be well protected, we will talk about maintenance washing later.

Wheels and Tyres

Your alloy wheels are a very valuable part of your car and detrimental to the overall appearance, with these being so close to the road surface you most certainly want to look after these also. Salt attacks wheels, painted, polished, diamond cut whatever they are all prone to damage over winter.

We recommend if possible to remove each wheel and clean thoroughly, with either a shampoo or a strong wheel cleaner like Valet Pro Bilberry Wheel Cleaner then give them a good rinse, dry them and then apply a wheel sealant like Chemical Guys Wheel Guard or Poorboys Wheel Sealant. This will add a layer of protection to your wheels also.

Tyres benefit from a little protection to stop the rubber deteriorating a dressing with UV protection is recommended like Chemical Guys Tire & Trim Gel. Allow to soak in for several minutes before wiping any excess off.

Exterior Plastics

Plastic bumpers, trim, vinyls and rubbers also benefit from a little protection over the winter months, the extreme temperatures and the suns UV radiation can cause fading, cracking and hardening so it’s a good idea to spend a little time here too. Application of 303 Aerospace Protectant will leave your plastic bumpers, trims and rubbers not only looking good but protected against the elements and with a layer of UV protection.

How To Maintain

You have worked hard to protect your car and you want to keep it that way, it’s best to keep your car as clean as possible during winter and not to slack off.

Ensure you give your car a good rinse to remove as much dirt and grime as possible then proceed to wash with a good pH neutral car shampoo like Dodo Juice Born to be Mild. This will ensure it will not strip or remove any sealants or waxes you have applied. Pay attention to the wheels when washing as you want to remove any road salts and other contaminates.

Follow this guide and your car will remain well protected over winter.