STORM DAMAGE | PREVENTATIVE CARE
From ice, to snow, to unnavigable thunderstorms, I thought it would be worth noting a few tips and tricks to preserving and protecting both your automotive glass and paintwork. As always, you'll find a few links to some recommended products that should help you stay ahead of the curve.
While we may have an irrepressible need to employ the use of an automotive ice scraper, it's always best practice to let your windshield and all other automotive glass defrost until a majority of ice turns to water.
If not, the potential of marring the outer layer increases exponentially, thereby causing the UV coating on the surface to prematurely fail. At the end of the day, no one enjoys looking through their windshield at night only to notice topical scratches scattered throughout.
Similar to the first point made, be sure to prop your windshield wipers (including any rear wiper) prior to any major storm (i.e., ice, snow, and even violent thunderstorms). If convenient, take them off completely. Once the storm passes, assess the condition of your wipers to see if any contamination still remains (i.e., twigs, dust, dirt, debris, ice, etc.)
With one clean and dry microfiber towel, dampen it with distilled water and your favorite automotive shampoo, then lightly pinch one end and run it across the surface of the blade back and forth.
To finish, take a second clean and dry microfiber towel and wipe off any excess. Introducing too much pressure can abrade the graphite or silicone coating that exists on the blade causing it to prematurely fail. With proper care, any wiper blade can last for several years before another one needs to be replaced.
Similar to the first point, your paintwork is extremely delicate. Unfortunately, newer vehicles (those that were produced from 2008 onward) contain 2 mils/2 microns (1 micron=1,1000th of an inch worth of clearcoat).
When putting this into perspective, a post-it note thickness equates to only 3 mils worth of material. When you dip below freezing (32 degrees), it's best to let your paintwork sit until warmer temperatures appear.
I know that condo and apartment dwellers feel compelled to wash right before or after these wintry mixes, but once the water freezes, it can temporarily freeze the door handle mechanism causing the hinges to lock, not to mention the rubber door seals splitting in various places. This is one of those times where being a hero is a bad idea.
If you simply don't have the space to park your vehicle in a dedicated shelter or garage, invest in a quality car cover. While I don't necessarily endorse the thought of draping, thereby potentially scraping against the surface of your vehicle, any ice storm or blizzard will have minimal effect.
Much like anything else in life, your paintwork has a life cycle . If you plan on keeping your new vehicle for the long-term, the only part of your paintwork that you should be touching (with the exception of healthy washing practices and a form of paint protection) is the door handle. Period.
Automotive Glass Towel