Winter Auto Detailing Tips

The winter season can cause a lot of damage to your car. During the cold winter months, the car’s plastic, glass, tires and paint work are at the mercy of the elements. Before the winter arrives, you can help protect your car with a little protective work. Let’s take a look at a few things to keep your car protected for the winter:

Seal the paint work

A paint sealant like a synthetic wax is a practical option to apply to your car if it is likely to be left exposed to the extreme winter conditions. Use a proper paint sealant to give the desired protection against road salts and water. Many of the modern sealants are very effective at creating a useful barrier to stop oils, chemicals or other contaminants from causing damage to the paint work. A single application of a top-rated paint sealant has the potential to last the entire winter season.

Keep the car clean

Driving on the road in the winter can increase the risk of the car getting chipped or scratches because of the many items of debris on the road. Any deep scratches that are left in the car’s paint work can lead to moisture penetration which will continue to freeze and thaw. Over time this will start to weaken the local paint work and oxidation will start to set in.

A regular car wash is a great way to minimize the risk of paint related oxidation. Also, the entire body of the car should be checked for paint scratches and chips. If any defects in the paint are noted, they can be repaired with a suitable paint sealant.

Treat the leather interior

The cold winter months can have a negative impact on the leather interior of a car. The dry and cold weather is very effective at pulling the moisture from the leather upholstery. The best course of action is to treat the leather before the start of the cold weather arrives. Ideally, it is wise to start the work on the leather before the daytime temperature drops below 50° Fahrenheit. If the treatment is left too late it can be difficult to get the leather to accept the conditioner.

Give the tires protection

Every part of the car has a tough time in the winter. This even applies to the tires, which can benefit from a generous application of a high-quality tire dressing to give a useful barrier against the natural elements. Also, a silicone based tire dressing is a further option for those traveling in snow because it can help to stop the buildup of road salt, ice and snow.

Car Washing: Hand Washing Versus Automatic

The option to use the traditional method of a hand wash service or the latest automatic machine is based on the personal preference of the car owner. While the hand wash has the potential to give the most gleaming look, the alternative method is certain to be a lot quicker. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the different car washing options:

Hand wash

Giving the car a regular hand wash is the most traditional method. Even though it is slower than the automatic alternative, it does have its many plus points, as well as a few downsides.

Pros

High-quality and customized – a hand wash has the potential to give the best all-round cleaning performance. A regular hand wash can easily be customized to include other cleaning strategies. With actual hands on contact with the car, it is possible to use extra cleaning techniques like waxing and claying.

Easy to get started – the cost of a basic hand wash is very inexpensive with a need to only invest in a few sponges and a bucket. However, this cost will increase if planning to use other cleaning strategies such as waxing.

Better reach – the may be many places on the car that aren’t property cleaned by the automatic machines. A full hand wash service has the potential to clean the dirt and grime from literally any part or hidden corner of the car.

Cons

Time and labor intensive – a hand wash can be very labor intensive and can leave muscles tired and aching. Also, the time involved can vary with the type of cleaning service provided. An in-depth clean with multiple coatings can easily take a few hours to complete.

Poor finish – if the car is left with any unwashed soap in place, this can lead to a dull looking vehicle. Also, there is the risk of tiny bits of dirt building up on the sponges or rags used to clean the car which can result in the unwanted scratch marks.

Automatic car wash

An automatic car wash is a time-saving alternative to a full hand washing service. Many people are starting to favor the automatic services for a variety of reasons, but it does have its negative points as well as plenty of positives.

Pros

Gentle on the paint work – the automated machines are very gentle to the entire car and will complete the job without causing any damage. In the past, these machines did use hard brushes which had the potential to cause scratches, but this is no longer the case with the modern units.

Thorough cleaning service – the automated machines are programmed to carefully clean all areas of a car to ensure a consistent clean is provided every time.

Cost-effective – the latest machines are designed with specific car washing techniques that can help to lower the water use and save time. This has the benefit of cutting costs for both the operator and car owners.

Cons

Limited contact – a standard strategy with the automated machines is to use minimal contact with the car which can mean the most stuck dirt will still be in place after the washing cycle is complete.

The Purpose of a Cone Filter

A trend that has been around for a while is installing the infamous cone filter. The sound is exhilarating to some yet annoying to others. What is the actual purpose of a cone filter?

A cone filter is mainly used in performance vehicles. It is part of an induction kit that is equipped with the pipework. It needs to be installed somewhere where it can suck in cold air. It is a cone shaped device that can be found close to the air flow in the front of the car.

Many people install these devices on a regular car without realising that it doesn’t make any difference in their driving performance. The driver would also have to replace the air box that was initially part of the engine. Because this vital part has been replaced, the cone filter is now sucking in hot air therefore the filter needs to be an unshielded cone filter.

The idea is to get as much air into the engine. The more oxygen is present, the more power the car will be able to achieve. That is, in a different type of engine. A larger engine will need to pull in more air because it is bigger and more powerful therefore it requires large amounts of oxygen. A smaller, standard four cylinder vehicle won’t get much use out of this filter because it can only suck in hot air, which is useless to the performance of a car as hot air has a lower oxygen count.

If you are interested in installing a cone filter you have to remember that the only noticeable difference will be the sound the car will make. The performance won’t be increased by a great amount but drivers have claimed that it does make their cars more fuel efficient.

Making sure that the cone filter doesn’t obstruct any pipes and airways is also extremely important. The engine requires oxygen and without constant feed, the system will fail. You will also have to avoid installing the air induction kit where water is present. Water will not combust and can greatly damage the engine.

Performance is what everyone wants when driving. It provides them with an unbeatable reputation and confidence. There are other ways to get this reputation – one is fitting performance tyres that suit with your car and another is keeping your car maintained to always look brand new. Avoid installing a cone filter unless you only want the sound that it makes when sucking air into the engine.

Minty’s is amongst the leading tyre suppliers in South Africa, and is recognized for our high standard of customer service. We have built a reputation amongst our customers and ensure that they receive tyres and alloy wheels of the highest quality, amongst the largest brands nationwide.