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Winterizing Your Car's Exterior

Winterizing Your Car's Exterior

Winterizing Your Car's Exterior

Providing additional protection for your vehicle in the wintertime is vital to maintaining the paint especially, but also the wheels and glass. Snow and ice, and the scraping it takes to remove them, can be as rough on your vehicle as they are on you. This article will walk you through a few products and procedures that will give your vehicle just what it needs to weather the winter storm.

The Paint:

Two words: road salt. Salt used to de-ice the roads can also de-paint your vehicle if you’re not careful. A quality paint coating, wax or sealant combined with correct maintenance will get your paint finish through the chilly months.

Paint Coatings:

Your best bet for winter paint protection is a paint coating because they last longer than your typical paint sealant (some coatings last up to 2 years!), require less reapplications, and need minimal maintenance. Not many people have the right set-up for a full on car wash throughout the winter, and protecting your paint with a paint coating makes it easier to keep clean.

Car Paint, Glass, Wheel & Trim Coatings

Different paint coatings have different features and advantages. Wolfgang Uber Ceramic Coating is easy to use and can be applied to all exterior surfaces – including paint, glass, headlights, and hard exterior trim. With up to 3 years protection and resistance to dirt, grime, salt, and other car washes, Wolfgang Uber Ceramic is ideal for winter months. BLACKFIRE Pro Ceramic Coating is ideal for both professional detailers and detailing enthusiasts thanks to the ease in which it can be applied and the up to 2 year longevity.

Pinnacle Black Label Diamond Paint Coating, when applied and maintained properly, provides up to 3 years protection as well, and will stand up against UV rays, airborne contaminants, dirt, acid rain, road salt, and other common pollutants that attack your vehicle on a regular basis.

The extreme hydrophobicity of Pinnacle Black Label Diamond Paint Coating helps keep ice and snow from creating any long lasting marks on your paint.

No matter what paint coating you decide is best for your vehicle, you will receive the best protection and durability through the long winter months with a dedicated paint coating.

Paint Sealants:

The downside of using a paint coating is the amount of prep work required for the coating to perform best. Often claying, compound, and polishing are some of the steps required. If you are not interested in that much prep work, we would recommend a paint sealant. The next best method of protection, synthetic paint sealants feature better durability (some paint sealants provide protection for up to 6 months) than traditional carnauba waxes, less maintenance, and easy application.

BLACKFIRE Paint Sealant is a sophisticated oil-in-water emulsion and is safe for all finishes, with or without a clear coat. This emulsion contains a small amount of a very refined mineral spirit in a water base. Multiple coats can be layered to deepen the gloss without drying or weakening the paint. BLACKFIRE Paint Sealant is very easy to use and can be applied by hand or with a machine polisher.

If you’re looking for the ultimate shine along with your protection, Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant provides the best of both! Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant 3.0 features fortified polymer technology. Wolfgang’s German Super Polymers are fortified with more dirt-repelling power to keep your vehicle cleaner and shinier, longer. Our enhanced super polymers have an amazing anti-static property that repels water, road-salt, oil, dust, and road grime to provide unsurpassed paint protection.

The Forum Favorite Kit gives you both the acrylic protection of Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze, and the carnuaba shine of Pinnacle Souveran Carnauba Paste Wax. Start with Klasse All-In-One to clean the paint, seal it with Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze, and then top off the paint with Pinnacle Souveran. The Klasse twins will absolutely protect the paint from snow and ice, and the Souveran wax makes it easy to maintain a nice shine.

We’ve heard great things about the durability of Collinite Insulator Wax #845; 5-6 months on average. It has a nice gloss and an amazing water-beading effect. Multiple layers is the key to durable protection all winter long.

Also, many of these paint coatings can be topped with a carnauba wax! If you get one sunny day this winter, you can always put a layer of your favorite carnauba wax over your paint sealant for an enhanced shine!

Winter Washing:

BLACKFIRE Waterless Wash

Washing your car during the winter can be a challenge, but you don’t have to leave road-salt and dirt on your car just because you can’t do a full bath! Using a waterless or rinseless wash allows you to remove those unsightly contaminants safely.

BLACKFIRE Waterless Wash in the ready-to-use spray bottle gives you a powerful ally in keeping your vehicle clean. This high lubricity waterless wash uses BLACKFIRE's proprietary polymers to encapsulate dirt and dust so they wipe away with out scratching. Fingerprints and smudges disappear.

Meanwhile, the anti-static polymers bond to the paint to reinforce the existing protection and create a whiplash-inducing shine. BLACKFIRE Waterless Wash is a car wash in a spray bottle!

While BLACKFIRE Waterless Wash won’t remove your existing layer of protection (if anything, it boosts the performance!), another great option for winter washing is Optimum No Rinse Wash & Wax. After you wash your vehicle with Optimum No Rinse Wash & Wax, you’ll immediately notice the crisp, clear reflections that the real carnauba wax imparts on the paint. What’s more, your vehicle will stay cleaner as the carnauba wax will create an immense amount of surface tension, causing water to bead up and roll off.

Both of these products, as well as most of the other waterless and rinseless washes, can be used on all exterior parts of your vehicle, including wheels, bumpers, rims, and glass, so you can keep your whole car clean this long winter!

Wheels & Tires:

Your wheels and tire need to be protected just as much as your paint does during the winter. Use BLACKFIRE SiO2 Wheel Seal, a protective sealant for your wheels. It prevents brake dust adhesion, which is a problem year-round, and it repels snow and ice. It does require regular reapplications to maintain a high level of protection but the results are well worth the effort.

As with the paint above, wheel coatings are another great option for protection. Pinnacle Black Label Diamond Wheel Coating blankets your wheels in a rock-hard barrier of protection that is impenetrable by ferrous brake-dust particles, road salt, tar or oil. Requiring minimal maintenance, just one application will last the entire winter season.

Tire protection is two-fold. For starters, the rubber needs to be kept supple in freezing temperatures to prevent cracking. Pinnacle Black Onyx Tire Gel looks great but most importantly; it hydrates the rubber to keep it flexible.

Secondly, make sure your tires are properly inflated. The air inside tires shrinks in cold temperatures. If they become under-inflated, the tread will not make enough contact with the road to maneuver on icy asphalt. Accutire MS-4355B Digital Programmable Tire Gauge measures psi from 5 to 99 in half pound increments.

Windshield and wipers:

Wurth Windshield Wash Additive is an antifreeze and cleaner that will keep your windshield clean and frost-free. Simply add it to your windshield washer fluid according to the directions. The additive protects against freezing down to -22°F and overspray will not affect paint, plastic, or rubber.

Everyone in snow-prone areas needs a quality ice scraper. The Ice Master Ice Scraper removes all kinds of frost, snow and ice from the windshield and windows with four blade configurations.

If scraping doesn't appeal to you (we understand!) 1Z Einszett De-Icer Spray is a quick solution to an icy windshield. 1Z Einszett De-Icer Spray penetrates and speeds up the removal of light snow, ice, and frost. It does the hard work for you, so you can easily push the frosty remnants off the glass.


If your vehicle is covered in snow, you’re garage floor soon will be. The Park Smart Heavy Duty Clean Park Garage Mat has a raised, removable lip around its edges to hold liquid until you have the opportunity to squeegee it out of the garage. The mat also catches oil to prevent stained concrete.

If you travel during the winter, you must have a Battery Tender battery charger! A Battery Tender battery charger keeps your car battery fresh over long periods of inactivity, saving you the cost of battery replacement. The Battery Tender Plus is our most popular model.

Cover it up!

If you have to park outside during the winter months, consider a car cover. The Block It 400 Evolution cover is heavy duty protection against moisture and impact. If you want considerable protection in a lighter weight cover, the WeatherShield HP cover is manageable enough for everyday use and it offers great protection against the elements.

Interior Protection:

WeatherTech Floorliners offer durable, full coverage protection for your vehicle's carpet. These mats hold moisture, like snow and mud, and cover more area than traditional floor mats.

De-Icing Your Vehicle:

Once winter sets in, arm yourself with the best ice scrapers and snow movers. Choose from the Snow Joe Telescoping Snow Broom or the SNOBRuM Snow Removal Tool. Each tool is made for heavy duty ice and snow removal and they're safe on automotive surfaces.

Ice scraping is easier when you use 1Z Einszett De-Icer Spray. It penetrates snow, ice, and frost so it can be easily scraped away.

Clean your windshield and prevent re-icing with 1Z Einszett Anti-Frost Washer Fluid. It works down to -20°F!

Check out the featured products below with some available in money-saving kits and combos!

Wolfgang Uber Ceramic Coating
Wolfgang Über Ceramic Coating - WG-3900
Our Price:  $129.99
Sale price:  $99.99
Wolfgang ber Ceramic Coating redefines the surface coating My staff would say that I’m old school because even in ...more
Pinnacle Black Label Diamond Paint Coating
Pinnacle Black Label Diamond Paint Coating - PBL-100
Our Price: $79.99
Diamond Paint Coating v2 provides stronger water beading throughout the lifespan of the coating. A longer working ...more
BLACKFIRE Paint Sealant, BLACKFIRE Wet Diamond All Finish Paint Protection, paint sealant, synthetic sealant, blackfire sealant
BLACKFIRE Paint Sealant - BF-300
Our Price: $59.99
Don't just turn heads.... CREATE WHIPLASH! BLACKFIRE Paint Sealant is a premium paint sealant designed for the ...more
Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant delivers a deep, wet, liquid shimmer unlike anything you can imagine.
Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant - WG-5500
Our Price: $39.99
Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant 3.0 redefines the paint sealant. Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant 3.0 will ...more
Klasse All-In-One, Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze, Pinnacle Souveran, Pinnacle Crystal Mist Spray Wax come together to create a forum favorite kit.
Pinnacle Forum Favorite Kit - PIN-FF-KIT
Our Price:  $190.95
Sale price:  $149.99
Take your paint to the limits of dazzling depth! The Forum Favorite Kit starts with a firm foundation of Klasse ...more
Sprayway industrial DE-ICER
Sprayway Industrial DE-ICER - SW-758
Our Price: $8.99
Cold weather is no match for the DE-ICER Cold, icy winters are unavoidable, car issues shouldn’t have to be a part ...more
Sprayway Complete DE-ICER Kit
Sprayway Complete DE-ICER Kit - SW-CDIK
Our Price:  $47.97
Sale price:  $39.99
Get ready to look forward to icy mornings Be prepared this winter for those crazy ice and snowstorms with the ...more
Sprayway DE-ICER Bundle
Sprayway DE-ICER Bundle - SW-758B
Our Price:  $17.98
Sale price:  $14.99
Icy weather has no chance! Winter can be a wonderful, festive time of year, but it’s also the time for snow to ...more
Sprayway DE-ICER Snow Kit
Sprayway DE-ICER Snow Kit - SW-DISK
Our Price:  $27.98
Sale price:  $23.99
Two essential tools to remove ice and snow! If it snows where you live, you know the hardships those winter ...more
Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze, klasse SG sealant, klasse sealant glase,klasse sealant
Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze 16.9 oz. - KL-02
Our Price:  $24.00
Sale price:  $19.99
Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze provides high impact acrylic protection that lasts for up to a year! Klasse High ...more
Pinnacle Souveran Paste Wax
Pinnacle Souveran Paste Wax - PIN-312
Our Price: $95.00
Souverän is The Wax for Perfectionists! Pinnacle Souverän Carnauba Paste Wax is the wax for ...more
BLACKFIRE Wet Diamond Waterless Wash, waterless car wash
BLACKFIRE Waterless Wash 32 oz. - BF-110
Our Price: $19.99
Safe, waterless washing plus shine-boosting polymers! BLACKFIRE Waterless Wash in the ready-to-use spray bottle ...more
Optimum No Rinse Wash & Wax, no rinse car wash, rinse free car wash, optimum no rinse
Optimum No Rinse Wash & Wax 32 oz. - New & Improved! - OPT-3347
Our Price: $19.99
Optimum No Rinse™ Wash & Wax New & Improved formula offers the Ultimate in lubricity during the wash as well as ...more
Pinnacle Black Label Diamond Wheel Coating
Pinnacle Black Label Diamond Wheel Coating - PBL-300
Our Price: $59.99
The best wheel protectant and brake dust repellent Pinnacle Black Label Diamond Wheel Coating blankets your wheels ...more
Pinnacle Black Onyx Tire Gel dresses your tires in a dark, satin finish that protects the rubber for weeks! This tire dressing and protectant enhances a well-detailed vehicle.
Pinnacle Black Onyx Tire Gel - FREE Applicator! - PIN-420-APP
Our Price: $29.99
For a limited time, get a FREE Buff and Shine Dressing Applicator That's a $4.99 value! Dress your tires for ...more
Wurth Screen Wash Additive
Wurth Screen Wash Additive - W-892332836
Our Price: $4.99
Keep your windshield clean and frost-free. Winter weather creates tough driving conditions. With routine snow up ...more
Ice Master Ice Scraper, windshield ice scraper, remove snow and ice, snow scraper
Ice Master Multi-Blade Ice Scraper - ICE-MASTER
Our Price: $19.99, 2/$37.50
Four ice removal options tackle any kind of ice! The Ice Master Multi-Blade Ice Scraper is a winter essential! ...more
Nextzett De-Icer Spray, deicer, car deicing spray, glass deicer, windshield de-icer
Nextzett De-Icer Spray - NEX-94061215
Our Price: $9.99
Remove ice faster and more easily! Nextzett De-Icer Spray works like magic to remove snow and ice from your car's ...more
Snow Joe Telescoping Snow Broom
Snow Joe Telescoping Snow Broom - SJ-BLZD
Our Price: $19.99, 2/$35.00
Snow removal made easy (and scratch free!) Snow Joe Telescoping Snow Broom is a must-have snow and ice removal ...more
Snow Joe Master Kit, Ice Master ice scraper, snow broom
Snow Joe Master Kit - SNO-MASTER
Our Price:  $44.98
Sale price:  $39.99
Two essential tools to remove heavy snow and ice from vehicles! If it snows where you live, you need the Snow Joe ...more
Auto SNOBRuM Snow Removal Tool, snow broom, snow pusher
Auto SNOBRuM Snow Removal Tool - SNO-BRUM
Our Price: $24.99
Clear snow off your vehicle without scratching! With the SNOBRuM, you can easily push heavy, wet snow off the ...more
SNOBRuM IceDozer Kit, Snow Broom, ice scraper, remove snow
Our Price:  $44.98
Sale price:  $34.99
Two must-have tools to remove heavy snow and ice from vehicles! If you live in a climate plagued by snow fall, ...more
Auto ProEdge Snow Removal Tool
Auto ProEdge Snow Removal Tool - PE-3006
Our Price: $39.99
Clean snow in a hurry, whether it’s a blizzard or a flurry! The Auto ProEdge Snow Removal Tool will quickly cut ...more