Author Topic: Mustachian car care in the winter  (Read 2374 times)

TheGadfly

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Mustachian car care in the winter
« on: October 07, 2014, 02:07:40 PM »

I just bought a used 2007 Honda Fit and I want to do everything I can to make it last.  I live in Michigan where winters can be particularly brutal and, since I park my car in an open-air parking lot, I'm wondering if I need to worry about salt/snow/ice damage.  I have never owned a car before so, for all I know, I don't need to do anything.

Concern #1:
My apartment complex offers covered parking spaces for $25 per month, which seems worthwhile since I won't need to dig my car out of an inevitable 1-2 foot snow accumulation.  I'm also guessing that this will cut down on the amount of time I need to keep the car running to defrost the windows.  Given the historical snow accumulation averages for my area, I would probably pay for covered parking for 5 to 6 months ($125-150) each year.

The other option is buying a high quality cover for $150-180.  The protection might not be so great (and I would still have to do some digging to find my car) but I good cover should last for at least 7 years.

I hope to buy a house (with a garage) in about 4 or 5 years so this is strictly a temporary issue.  Still, the possibility of spending $750 vs. $180 over the course of 5 years seems firmly within a mustachian field of reckoning.

Concern #2:
There are an enormous number of car care products our there (waxes, glazes, fluids, sprays) to help winterize your car inside and out.  Are any of these products actually useful?  Does anyone use them routinely to winterize their vehicle?

I've also heard that modern car models are highly rust resistant and designed to withstand harsh climates and precipitation for the entire life of the vehicle, making winterizing products unnecessary.  Is this something I even need to devote energy to?

I will also happily accept general car care tips.  THANKS!

Grateful Stache

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Re: Mustachian car care in the winter
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2014, 05:54:19 PM »
I live in a very snowy state, and I leave my car out all winter. I haven't noticed anything bad happening.

Sorry if it's not much help.

Cheers.

StangStache

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Re: Mustachian car care in the winter
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2014, 08:37:38 PM »
Leaving your car out to be covered in snow isn't particularly damaging.  You shouldn't really worry too much about that.  The real threat is road salt. 

If you have the ability, washing the undercarriage every few weeks will go a long way in controlling rust.  This may not be realistic for you in your apartment setup.  Make sure you don't leave salt anywhere on the car when it passes 50 degrees; corrosion is accelerated when the temperature rises and there is moisture in the air. 

Greg

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Re: Mustachian car care in the winter
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2014, 09:12:09 PM »
Wash, wax, clean interior (windows especially) will keep crap from harming the paint etc.  Anything else is probably a waste of money.

GuitarStv

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Re: Mustachian car care in the winter
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2014, 08:20:13 AM »
How does a clean interior protect exterior paint?

Greg

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Re: Mustachian car care in the winter
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2014, 09:17:25 AM »
Magic?  :)

I should have said "Wash, wax will keep crap from harming the paint etc."

Clean interior, windows especially, will reduce frost and lessen the need for demisting.  Avoid "anti-fog" treatments for the inside of the glass, it causes smearing and glare at night. 
« Last Edit: October 08, 2014, 09:20:06 AM by Greg »

wtjbatman

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Re: Mustachian car care in the winter
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2014, 10:36:46 AM »
Buy good floor mats you can remove and easily wash, to help protect the interior from salt and other crud building up and ruining the carpet. Wash and wax the exterior before winter. Take your car through a car wash that has an underbody wash function. Do that at least twice. Halfway through winter, and at the end of winter when the last of the salt has been washed from the road.

Qualifications: I live in Minnesota. I'm an expert on snow, ice, and months of salty roads. The greatest danger isn't the paint, it's exposed parts (particularly the underbody) rusting. It won't happen after one or two winters. But it will happen eventually.

southern granny

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Re: Mustachian car care in the winter
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2014, 07:08:48 PM »
A good wax should protect the car, but if I lived in Michigan I would definitely pop for the covered parking place.  Snow doesn't bother me as much as the ice.  One day of chipping ice off the windshield would convince you.  I once sprained my shoulder trying to get the frozen car door open.  The xrays cost more than $25.  Make the $25 up somewhere else and get that parking place.  And like you said, you will be running the engine less, so there will be some cost savings to you and benefit to the environment.