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S.O.V 12-21-2009 01:58 PM

Winter Exterior Maintenance Tips
Unfortunately, not everyone who owns a WRX has a garage, or better yet a second car. For those of us who's WRX serves as a daily driver with no garage to call home, what are some good exterior maintenance tips for the winter? I live in the northeast and drive my car about 30 miles to work everyday. I'm just looking for some ideas to preserve the integrity of the body during the colder months with all the salt/sand, snow, ice, and everything else on the road looking to errode your car. Stroies/advice are appreciated

RcrsWetDream 12-21-2009 02:31 PM

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Get it washed often... Not necessarily a $20 full service but when you fill up and the pump asks you for a car wash, spend the $2 just to get the crap off. Also, I've been doing a lot of highway driving the last week with the salty wet roads and my engine bay ended up with a bunch of salt spray in it; so keep that clean too. Other than that, usually a solid coat of wax will help keep the paint fresh.

Vew 12-21-2009 03:40 PM

Good coat of wax and protectant on your plastic/rubbers (no not armor all). Keep the salt off it as much as you can. Never wash the car in near freezing temperatures (ice will form, ive tried), and be careful when you do snow removal on the car. I've missed the window before and scrapped the paint. Also, don't use the brush that comes on scrappers on your paint.

turmic 12-21-2009 06:55 PM

Vew, unfortunely I just did that this past weekend. With the 12"s we got up here saturday. I scrapped the paint when I missed the window. DOAH!! Looks like I'll be getting some touch up paint in the spring.

man show 12-21-2009 09:34 PM

Keep your windshield washer fluid reservoir full of the low temp stuff.

I try to pay attention to how much snow is on the roof of the vehicle in front of me. I don't care of the guy behind me rides my @$$ hard, I'm staying way the F back so I don't get hit with any when it comes flying off.

Touchless carwashes with an underbody spray are your best bet when it's extra cold. Cheapest I found in my area is $7 - includes underbody spray, soap/water wash, and air dry. That one actually closes when it gets really, really cold though, so sometimes I have to settle for a quick diy spray n wash joint. Avoid automatic car washes with brushes and other moving material devices that contact your paint.

I've noticed some people bend their windshield wipers away from their windshields when they know it's going to snow - I assume maybe it's to keep them from freezing to the windshield? I don't have to do that because my car has a windshield wiper de-icer function, but that might be something to think about too.

And be sure to give your car a pretty good detail (clay bar and wax at least) when the weather warms up again in the spring. It's probably too late now, but that should have been done a month or two ago when it was warm enough.

turmic 12-22-2009 11:49 AM

John (aka Manshow) Is that a WRX limited feature? Thats kinda cool. Yeah, I bought a jug of rainx de-icer. Because that helps a lot while your driving. If you spray de-icer. If helps clear up your windshield if ice builds up on the wipers or the windshield it's self.

man show 12-22-2009 12:21 PM

Yep yep.. the Limited package on 06/07 WRX Sedans and Wagons (besides Anthracide Black or Desert Beige leather, dual setting front heated seats, and tilt/slide power sunroof w/ shade) includes front wiper deicers and heated outside mirrors. I'm not sure how the windshield wiper deicer system works, but it seems to do its job. I never thought the heated side view mirrors would come in handy either, but they remove almost all of the moisture that builds up on rainy or snowy days.

RcrsWetDream 12-22-2009 02:22 PM

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It's basically a defroster area where the wipers sit at the bottom, kinda like the rear defroster elements running across the glass.

newtothegame 12-22-2009 03:15 PM

My wifes 05 also has that stuff on it (its a limited also). Mine doesn, but its faster, lol :D

man show 12-22-2009 04:19 PM

Oh yeah, I forgot there were some Limiteds prior to 06.. my bad.

jed344 12-22-2009 11:26 PM

that reminds me i have a 04 wrx it has like the rear window defrost by the temp controls and then by my foglight switch has another defog looking one what is that one 4 never thought to check

Smokin'Joe 12-23-2009 01:08 AM

I've always put 2 coats of wax on as close to Winter as possible without having to freeze my rear off to get it done. Usually in two separate occasions no more than a week apart. This helps snow just slide off for one, and also repels alot of the junk they put on roads for traction. In Tahoe they are not allowed to use salt so it's just sand and dirt and rocks... But can really make a mean mud gunk that sounds like a shot gun when it flys out of another vehicles wheel and whaps your car causing scratches and all that too (not too often does that happen though). I'm all with ManShow on the touchless spray washes too. With the wax you should have no problem keeping the paint clean, but the undercarriage is where it's far more crucial to keeping things from binding and deteriorating due to salt or what have you. I got the premium package on the '09 WRX which has the windshield wiper defrosters, but out of just habit, I still put the wiper blades up when it's going to ice or snow, lol. Well, now that I'm in Texas I'll have to realize that $hit just isn't going to happen much if at all... :(

man show 12-23-2009 09:18 AM

Yeah, my deicer/outside mirror heater switch is located in the same area as the fog light switch (down and left of the steering wheel). Hit that puppy when you see snow/ice/moisture on your side mirrors and you'll be in for a treat :) The one by the temp controls is just for the back glass, if I'm not mistaken.

jed344 12-27-2009 11:58 PM

you are correct i didnt know it heated my mirrors! NICE

VisiX 12-28-2009 03:33 PM

My best advice is not to let your wife/girlfriend (or anyone else) drive your car. Also, don't follow other vehicles closely. These are more preventative tips than maintenance but there is no way to maintain huge chips in the paint in the front of your car from the rocks and debris kicked up by large trucks and snow plows.


Wife hit a guard rail in my car today (the day after I wrote the above post) while on her way to get snow tires installed (ARGGGGHHHHHHhhh!!!), should have listened to my own advice.



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