Advice For Winter Car Care Products

The big freeze has had the UK in its grip for several weeks and as snow continues to fall in some parts of the UK, Autoglym is urging motorists to consider the impact the conditions can have on their cars. In sustained sub-zero temperatures cars become increasingly susceptible to damage, outside and in. Furthermore, the UK's leading car care specialist is advising motorists against relying on cheap, low-grade versions of winter essentials such as de-icer and screenwash, which could be ineffective in the extremes of the continuing big freeze.

Exterior and Interior Damage

Very low temperatures cause paintwork and protective veneers to become brittle and increasingly susceptible to scratches and stone chips. As salty road spray finds these small areas of exposed bodywork, they are extremely vulnerable to corrosion, with early-stage rust evident within days.

  • AUTOGLYM'S TIP: Bodywork conditioned with a polish and protected with a quality wax sealant will help the paint to retain its suppleness and therefore its resistance to surface damage.

Rubber seals and wipers become more brittle, too. Wiper blades are likely to split when forced to move when frozen stuck to glass. Wiper mechanisms are not designed to shift heavy loads of snow, and dragging the wipers across jagged ice on the windscreen will damage the blade, reducing its future effectiveness.

  • AUTOGLYM'S TIP: Motorists should clear the entire front and rear windscreen surfaces of snow and ice before using their wipers. Weekly treatment with a quality conditioning solution will keep the rubber supple and reduce its propensity to freeze to other surfaces.

Through the coldest periods, road salt will find its way onto interior carpets and plastic door tread plates and trim. These highly abrasive deposits often leave white residues as they dry and can cause scratches on many surfaces.

  • AUTOGLYM'S TIP: A quick treatment with a quality interior shampoo will help remove deposited grit and salt from carpets, upholstery and plastic trim.
Beware Low Grade Winter Essentials

The cheapest, low grade versions of winter motoring essentials such as de-icers and screenwash solutions are often only capable of working in conditions of up to minus 10 degrees Centigrade. With many parts of the country experiencing overnight temperatures lower than minus 15 degrees Centigrade, this could leave vehicles with ineffective protection just when they need it most.

  • AUTOGLYM'S TIP: A quality de-icer (anhydrous are best, which means zero water content) will work to minus 50 degrees Centigrade, and can also be used to clean windows if no dedicated glass cleaner is available.

A low-priced screenwash is likely to have such a low anti-freeze content that it will freeze at around minus five degrees. It will therefore not be available to motorists when they really need it, and may also result in cracked reservoirs and pipes as it expands as it freezes.

  • AUTOGLYM'S TIP: A quality screenwash will work to at least minus 25 degrees centigrade, enough to withstand conditions in the UK's big freeze.
7 January 2011 Staff

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