In Chicago, winters are known for being long and unforgiving. Your car knows this well.
The cold, harsh Windy City weather can take a toll on your car’s exterior and the underlying metal components. How exactly is your car impacted by cold, icy road conditions and what can you do to protect it?
Winter Weather and Your Vehicle’s Exterior
Sometimes called brine, ice melt helps to keep our city roads safe for drivers, but can be damaging to your car’s paint job (if not consistently washed off).
A mix of water, salt, and magnesium chloride, it helps to lower the freezing point of water, making it difficult for water to freeze on the road and wiping away ice and snow.
It’s extremely acidic and can easily splash onto your vehicle’s exterior and undercarriage, causing rust and damage.
Similar to ice melt, rock salt is used to clear roads of ice and snow and can help provide traction for tires in slippery conditions.
The salt itself is highly corrosive. It can not only get in chips and dents of your car, speeding up the rusting process, but as a denser formula than ice melt, can actually cause small dents and chips in your paint too.
Car Washes Aren’t Just for the Summertime
Winter car washes help prevent rust under your car and keep ice off your windshield. Rust is a fickle beast. It can show up anywhere, in nooks and crannies you didn’t even know existed, and spread quickly.
Prevent rust from beginning in the first place with consistent car washes throughout the winter season, scrubbing away the corrosive elements on the exterior and undercarriage of your car. Add a coat of wax as an extra layer of protection between your car and the acidic ice melt or rock salt that’s an unavoidable part of Chicago winters.
The New York Times recommends you wash your car as often as outdoor temperatures allow. Avoid washing when the temperature is below freezing because the water will immediately freeze on your exterior, making it especially difficult to de-ice your windshield properly.
Pick a day when the temperature is in the high 30s or low 40s and pay special attention to the areas behind the wheels, the quarter panels, and front grille – the main places where salt can collect.
Instead of doing it yourself, stop into Milito’s!
Our full-service, fast car wash is conveniently located in the heart of Lincoln Park, and open 7 days a week.
Relax in our waiting room while we vacuum your car, wash the outside, towel dry it, and wash the inside of your windshield. We’ll clean the dirt and grime off your interior mats as well!
Let us help keep your car looking good from the inside-out, especially during the winter months.