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Old 10-15-2012, 01:32 PM   #1
Todd@Autopia's Avatar
Drives: 2010 Mazdaspeed 3
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Autopia Winter Care Guide: 1 of 3

Autopia Winter Care

Winterize the Exterior of Your Automobile

The first bone-chilling wind penetrates you to the core while your eyes notice an explosion of color in the trees. These are the first signals that winter is fast approaching. Soon the Northern Hemisphere will be tilted away from the sun and much of the land will be subject to freezing temperatures, snow, and the other challenges of winter. Extreme temperatures, road salt, compacted snow, and ice take a toll on your vehicle. In this, the first of three articles from, we will look at getting your vehicle ready for the winter.

Wash Thoroughly

Proper winter prep starts with a very thorough car wash. Use a dedicated car soap such as BLACKFIRE Wet Diamond Conditioning Shampoo or Sonus Gloss Shampoo to clean the paint without drying it out. Use a dedicated detail brush, such as Daytona Speed Master Wheel Brush to thoroughly clean suspension components and undercarriage areas where dirt and grime remain. Snow and road salt act to rust these areas over time. By keeping them clean, you will reduce the chance of these harmful substances sticking to surfaces and damaging them. Finally, dry the paint carefully using a soft Cobra Guzzler Microfiber Towel and feel the paint for any roughness.

Prep The Paint

It is important to remove any contamination from the paint prior to applying a wax or paint sealant. Winter's frigid temperatures and dismal conditions make it difficult to reapply protection throughout the season. In order to ensure your wax or paint sealant lasts as long as possible, the paint must be perfectly clean and prepared. To remove light contamination, use Sonus SFX Ultra-Fine Detailing Clay. For moderate to heavy contamination, use BLACKFIRE Poly Clay II. Both are available in kits that include everything you need to achieve perfectly clean paint that is ready to accept protection.

Selecting A Wax Or Sealant

The final step in protecting your paint for winter is to select a wax or paint sealant that will last a long time and resist the tough winter elements. The following protectants will protect your vehicle safely from the moisture, salt, and road pitch that reek havoc on your paint. While using detailing clay removes the above surface contamination, it is recommended to use a paint cleansing lotion to clean below the paint's surface. Use the recommended paint cleansing lotion prior to applying sealant or wax to give your paint maximum protection!

Whichever product you choose remember to protect all painted areas, including door jambs, around the trunk and engine openings, and any other painted areas. Apply and remove two thin coats for maximum protection.

BLACKFIRE Wet Diamond All Finish Paint Protection- BLACKFIRE's signature sealant is loaded with a premium ****tail of polymers that bond to the surface and offer incredible looks and great protection. BLACKFIRE also offers a full range of products that make it easy to maintain your vehicle’s protection as the temperatures become cooler and the days get shorter. For best results, deep clean the paint with BLACKFIRE Gloss Enhancing Polish first.

Collinite Liquid Insulator Wax No.845 - Collinite Liquid Insulator Wax No.845 is famous for its excellent protection and amazing durability. This wax was originally designed to protect industrial equipment and provides exceptional salt and detergent resistance. For maximum durability we recommend prepping the paint first with Ultima Paint Prep Plus.

Detailer's Poli-Coat Paint Sealant- Detailer's Poli-Coat Paint Sealant features a revolutionary self-prepping bonding agent that gives it the lasting power to make it through winter. Poli-Coat creates a high-gloss finish that resists moisture, and helps prevent ice, salt, and dirt from sticking. For best results polish the paint with Klasse All-In-One Cleaner & Polish prior to applying Detailer’s Poli-Coat Paint Sealant.

Wheel & Tire Prep

With the paint protected and ready for the challenges of winter, it is time to protect the wheels. Wheels get coated with brake dust and packed with snow. Freezing temperatures make it difficult to clean them. They must be protected to reveal that showroom shine when winter thaws. If you swap your standard wheels and tires for snow wheels and tires, the best time to get them ready is before you mount them.

Start by cleaning the wheels and removing any brake dust and contamination. Use a powerful wheel cleaner that is gentle to the wheel's finish such as BLACKFIRE Total Eclipse Tire & Wheel Cleaner. For wheels that have stubborn, caked-on brake dust, use CarPro Iron-X to deep clean them. Spray the cleaner on the wheel and allow to dwell. Use a Daytona Speed Master Wheel Brush or Daytona Speed Master Wheel Brush Jr. to spread the cleaner to hard-to-reach areas and agitate the solution. Rinse the wheels until completely clean.

Finally, protect the wheel with a high-quality wheel sealant like Detailer's Wheel Glaze. The cleaning agents in Detailer's Wheel Glaze will clean any remaining contaminants from the surface while a durable polymer film will protect against salt, brake dust, and contamination. Apply two coats to all areas of the wheel and wipe off for a tough, durable, high-gloss shine.

For the ultimate protection for your rubber, look no further than TUF SHINE. Use TUF SHINE Tire Cleaner to remove any old dressings, silicone, and dirt. Then protect your tires with TUF SHINE Tire Clearcoat. This is a permanent coating that will last thorough any season and prevent the harsh chemicals of winter from drying out and damaging your rubber.

Keep Your Vision Clean!

Chiseling ice away from your windshield like a sculptor is no fun. Particularly when the temperature is dipping below zero, the wind is blowing, and heavy snow fall seems to purposely blind you. Diamondite Crystal Gloss Surface Protection will help prevent ice from sticking to the glass by creating a thin, clear barrier of protection. This easy-to-apply formula simply wipes on and buffs off and can be applied as needed.

Inspect your windshield wipers and replace them if needed. If your wiper blades are in good repair, use 303 Wiper Treatment to condition them and maintain optimal performance throughout the winter.

Finally, make sure that your windshield wiper fluid works when you need it. 1Z Einszett Anti-Frost Wash Fluid is a concentrated washer fluid with anti-freeze properties. This formula quickly removes road-pitch while deicing frost! Best of all it will not freeze or clog your sprayers so it will be ready to work each time you need it!

Almost There!

The final step in preparing your exterior cosmetics for winter takes us into the door jambs. The weather stripping that seals you from the environment is made from a soft rubber that can freeze and dry out in the harsh winter climate. When the seals dry out they will allow a cold draft of air to enter the interior. In the worst cases, they can freeze shut, locking you out in the cold. Wurth Rubber Care Gel Stick provides an easy-to-apply solution to both problems. It conditions and moisturizes the rubber to prevent it fromdrying out. More importantly, it leaves a non-stick protectant film that prevents the doors from freezing shut.

Coming Soon...

In the second winter care article from we will look at winterizing the interior of your vehicle as well as what you should have your automotive technician do to prepare for the months ahead. In the third and final installment we will look unique and innovative ways to wash your car during the coldest months, and how to keep your protection at its peak level.


Snow and black ice limit traction, increasing the risk for an accident. Life Hammer is the manufacturer of several potentially life saving products. The Original Life Hammer allows you to quickly free yourself from being trapped in a vehicle. The Res-Q-Me Escape Key Chain is a portable safety device that fits on your key ring and goes whereever you do. Increase your chance of survival no matter what winter throws your way!

BLACKFIRE Wet Diamond Conditioning Shampoo
Sonus Gloss Shampoo
Daytona Speed Master Wheel Brush Two Brush Combo
Cobra Guzzler Microfiber Towel
Sonus SFX Ultra-Fine Detailing Clay
Sonus SFX Ultra-Fine Detailing Clay Bundle
BLACKFIRE Poly Clay & Lubricant Combo
BLACKFIRE Wet Diamond All Finish Paint Protection
Collinite 845 Insulator Wax
Detailer's “Pro Series” Poli-Coat Paint Sealant
BLACKFIRE Gloss Enhancing Polish
Ultima Paint Guard Preparation
Klasse-All-In-One Cleaner & Polish
BLACKFIRE Total Eclipse Tire & Wheel Cleaner
CarPro Iron-X
Daytona Speed Master Wheel Brush
Daytona Speed Master Wheel Brush Jr. Kit

TUF SHINE Tire Cleaner
TUF SHINE Tire Clearcoat
TUF SHINE Tire Appearance Kit
Detailer's Wheel Glaze
Diamondite Crystal Gloss Surface Protection
303 Wiper Treatment
1Z Einszett Anti-Frost Wash Fluid
Wurth Rubber Care Gel Stick
Res-Q-Me Escape Key Chain
Original Life Hammer
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:23 PM   #2
I like teeth.
ihaveacamaro's Avatar
Drives: #198
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Posts: 4,835
come out with part 2 already!! lol

Great info

Please check out my youtube detailing channel:

"When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful."
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:47 PM   #3

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Drives: 2012 Camaro 2SS 45th Anniversary Ed
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,226
Good info.

Are these products you talk about ok to apply by hand?

May I suggest links to 2 and 3 in this thread when they come out.
2012 Camaro 2SS 45th Anniversary Edition - No longer owned: 2010 Camaro 2LT, 1993 Camaro Z-28
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