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So I just picked up my strata blue hatchback, and its been very snowy here in Jersey.

The car is covered with road-salt and I was wondering how bad this is for the car.

The car wash places are closed because its too cold outside, and its probably too cold for me to go outside and wash it myself.

Is there anything I should put on the exterior to minimize damage from the road salt?

-Hitesh
 

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Related to protection from snow, salt etc., how do people clear snow off their cars? I use one of those scraper/brush combo things on my current car, but I was thinking that the bristles would scratch the paint after a while. Is there any other tool/method people use to clear snow off safely?
 

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Road salt will not damage paint, glass, or plastic, nor even chrome-plated steel. It is the undercarriage that is affected. You can pretty much ignore exterior salt. It looks ugly, but that's all. Try to hose off the underside of the car as soon as the weather permits.
 

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Unfortunately your paint will be scratched too hell from a brush. I would go outside in a fleece jacket and use your arm to clear the snow off if you have to. Or atleast to be on the safe side dont clear the snow off all the way down to the paint just drive fast enough and it will blow off.
 

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I don't think it's quite a good idea to drive fast in the snow. It takes some pretty high velocities to blow snow off a car, depending on how much.

Sometimes I see slabs of snow on minivans driving around, which must add 200 pounds to the car!
 

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budgy said:
Unfortunately your paint will be scratched too hell from a brush. I would go outside in a fleece jacket and use your arm to clear the snow off if you have to. Or atleast to be on the safe side dont clear the snow off all the way down to the paint just drive fast enough and it will blow off.
Keep a towel in your car, or use a soft pair of gloves to clean the snow off. DO NOT rely on "driving fast" to clear it off; if some of the snow has iced, the chunks of it flying off of your car into the windshield of the car behind you become potentially deadly projectiles. Iced snow blowing off of cars is a serious hazzard. Be curteous to the other drivers on the road and take 20 seconds to brush your car off. I've seen way too many accidents on the highway due to chunks of ice flying off of a vehicle (usually vans and tractor trailers), hitting a windshield, and causing the driver to panic and lose control of their car on slippery roads.
 

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Well if you are parking yhour car, u can place it in the garage, or u can put a car cover over ur car on ur driveway. Make sure underneath ur car is well maintained and taken care off, because in alot of these snow states, they put salt on the ground to take care of the snow and ice. This could cause corrosion or rust in ur car. When I lived in Michigan, NY, OH, KY, my car suffered so much from the salt, it started to rust. I don't know how much better the paint is on cars today than 15 years ago, because i had a sable, and that's rusting everywhere. I know my mom's minivan is fine because it is plastic, underneath though, it suffered.
 

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I'll remember to spray under the car when I go to those self-service car washes for now on! I am never under the car, so I have no idea what it would look like after a few years of winters- maybe I don't want to know/see :(
 

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Kirk said:
budgy said:
Unfortunately your paint will be scratched too hell from a brush. I would go outside in a fleece jacket and use your arm to clear the snow off if you have to. Or atleast to be on the safe side dont clear the snow off all the way down to the paint just drive fast enough and it will blow off.
Keep a towel in your car, or use a soft pair of gloves to clean the snow off. DO NOT rely on "driving fast" to clear it off; if some of the snow has iced, the chunks of it flying off of your car into the windshield of the car behind you become potentially deadly projectiles. Iced snow blowing off of cars is a serious hazzard. Be curteous to the other drivers on the road and take 20 seconds to brush your car off. I've seen way too many accidents on the highway due to chunks of ice flying off of a vehicle (usually vans and tractor trailers), hitting a windshield, and causing the driver to panic and lose control of their car on slippery roads.
K good point, I am going to buy a cotton terry cloth today!
 

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Salt wont eat away at your car until the temperature rises above 0 celcius. If you park your car in a heated garage in the winter, make sure you clean the salt off regularily, especially those spots more likely to rust(under the car)
 

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I'm just stunned that there are heated garages, I guess it makes sense, just never thought about it. Around here, we have air conditioned garages b/c it gets so hot.
 

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Salt doesn't become a real problem until it meets moisture, that's when oxidation goes crazy. It's impossible to do. Road spray, heated garages, thaws, all can cause this. Even washing it never gets it all, unless you really wash the underside. The only way to prevent it is to wax it in November, and park it until April :lol:
 

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and its probably too cold for me to go outside and wash it myself.
That sounds like a case of 3 neglect. If you really cared, you'd wash it. :twisted: :D(sorry I had to.)


Related to protection from snow, salt etc., how do people clear snow off their cars? I use one of those scraper/brush combo things on my current car, but I was thinking that the bristles would scratch the paint after a while. Is there any other tool/method people use to clear snow off safely?
IMO, the bristles won't scratch anything, they're soft plastic. If they scrathced cars they wouldn't still be bought by everyone. IMO, the part to worry about is clearing the ice off. I don't know if ice can scratch a car, but I have a strong belief it could and I usually pick the sheets of ice off my car instead of just sliding them off. Could do what my friend did to his Civic and shovel it off, down to the paint.

As far as salt, I'd at least rinse it off, top and bottom. No need to go scrubbing for clean, just shoot it off to remove the salt. Salt, does not work below 20F(degrees).
 

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Bumping this.

Anyone have any new suggestions for 1) protecting the car during the winter, and 2) cleaning the snow off w/o destroying the paint? I like the terry towel idea, even wrapping the bristled brush in the terry cloth might do the trick!

Keep in mind that I live in MA, and snowstorms here have been known to dump 2+ feet at times, and temps barely hit 30F from Mid-December through Mid-March. And salt...well, let's just say that come spring time, ALL the roads are considered dirt roads. :ugh:
 

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I use a large towel and take just enough snow off the car's roof and hood to not scratch it. Also, you can use a paint roller, without the handle, lol. It's soft and acts like a sponge to powdery snow. I also start the car and let as much anow melt off the hood as possible.

I drive to Vermont alot, so I know about the winters in NE, and the dirt roads in spring. I just try to not come in contact with the apint with anything harmful if I can. I have a garage here in NJ, and it's really good to have. I consider myself fortunate to have a garage in wnter just to save the paint, I'm a cold weather person, so temps are not a problem.
 

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Sadly, I have no garage available. I'm also worried about shoveling and scratching up the car that way, but we may get a snowblower, which should help the situation.

The temps aren't an issue for me, personally, but rinsing the car in less than 30 degree weather would be stupid, as the water would freeze almost instantly and just adhere the salt to the paint even more than before. I just wanted to put that out there, that "rinsing" the salt off would not always be plausible. Moreover, letting the water sit in the hose/spigot during the winter would just mean more tasks placed on spring upkeep (buying a new hose and replacing the now cracked spigot).

Good tips though.

As my own tip though, if anyone is thinking of using the sleeve of their fleece jacket (as stated above), be careful that zippers or other hard parts don't scrape up the sides of the car while you brush the snow off! Left a nice little scratch on my old Toyota using this method. Haha.
 
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