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TRUSTDale Tip of the Day: *Tips to Extend the Life of Your Car's Exterior
  1. Wash in winter, too

If you rarely wash your car during messy winter weather, you are not alone .The cars you see on the road make it obvious that lots of folks figure, "Why bother? The car is going to look awful the next time I drive it." The problem with this thinking is that washing is more important in the winter than other times of the year. All that sand, slush, and ice mixed with road salt is exactly what makes your car rust .The fastest corrosion occurs when the temperature repeatedly rises above and then falls below freezing. Especially during the messy months, be sure to rinse the undercarriage and hard-to-reach areas that are susceptible to rust, such as the bumpers and inside the wheel wells. If the temperature outside is going to stay above freezing long enough for your car and driveway to dry, fill a bucket with warm water and tackle the job at home. If not, pay a visit to your local car wash and be sure they dry the car thoroughly.

  1. Give your car a new skin

New self-adhering urethane films have been developed to protect the most vulnerable painted areas on your car from stone chips and other minor abrasions. You can wash and wax these surfaces, just as you would the rest of the paint job. While it's best to have these films professionally installed, you can peel them off yourself. One product is made by 3M, and you can learn more by going to and searching for Scotchgard Paint Protection Film Solutions.

  1. Don't let tools mar your car's finish

If you plan to service and make repairs to your car, invest in a fender cover. It drapes over your fender, providing a safe place to rest your tools without causing scratches. It will also prevent your belt buckle from marring your paint as you lean into the engine compartment to work.