Protecting Your Vehicle This Winter and Into Spring

Sunday, July 20, 2014 11:51 PM

Guest author Curtis Stutler is an avid car enthusiast with over 20 years of automotive industry experience. He became an expert in exterior vehicle protection after spending nearly 10 years working for Covercraft Industries. He enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and 2 dogs, working on his '69 Ford Mustang, and he's always on the lookout for his next restoration project. He currently operates carcoverguide.com and has provided a few tips for protecting your vehicle this winter and into the spring.

With everyone’s favorite groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, predicting six more weeks of winter, it’s important to make sure your vehicle is being properly cared for. As a 20-year automotive industry veteran, people often ask me for tips and tricks to keep their cars healthy through the cold winter months. In addition to the more common tips like changing your oil, checking your battery, and replacing windshield wipers, here are some of my top car care recommendations.  These tips will benefit both you and your vehicle throughout winter, and well into spring.

1.    Inspect Your Spare Tire

A car’s spare tire can become a neglected piece of equipment. One of the last situations you want to find yourself in this winter is on the side of the road with a flat tire and a spare that’s unusable.  All too often, people get into an emergency situation only to realize that their spare is flat or can’t be dislodged because the hardware that keeps it tucked away has rusted.

2.    Apply Wax to Your Headlights and Taillights

This is a common car safety trick used by automotive professionals in areas that see regular snow and ice. Maintaining a thin coat of vehicle wax on your headlights and taillights will help keep them clean while preventing snow and ice from building up and sticking to them.

3.    Protect Non-Garage Kept Vehicles

For those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to live in areas where garages are commonplace, it’s important to find other ways to keep our vehicles protected while we’re not driving them. A car cover is an easy and inexpensive way to give your vehicle a line of defense against Mother Nature. A high quality car cover should last you for several seasons, and if you live in the south, you’ll find them especially useful during the invasion of the dreaded spring pollen. If you don’t want to deal with a full-fledged car cover, windshield covers are a more manageable alternative.  Either type of cover will be much easier and more effective than trying to scrape off ice and snow or sitting in your cold car waiting for the defroster to do its job.