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Can Snow Damage Car Paint? Explained


No doubt, driving in snow is full of fun until the harshness of the cold weather starts messing with the car paint. Ice and snow might look harmless, but the reality is something else. That’s why in this post, you will get the answer to “can snow damage car paint?”

Apparently, snow might not damage the car paint as it simply sticks on the surface. However, the real threat is how you will remove the snow from your car. Plus, it’s not just the snow but ice and road salt that also team up and attack the car paint.

Therefore, this post will explain how to protect your car paint from snow in ice-cold weather.

Damage to Car Paint in Snow

While driving your car in extreme cold, you might have experienced ice, grit, and salt mixing with the wetness of the weather and sticking to your car’s body. If you are living in mid-western regions like Wisconsin, it’s almost impossible to avoid that mixture in winter.

car is covered with layers of snow and ice

So in order to protect your car paint from snow, you can apply DIY fixes or take your car to the nearby service station for additional protection from ice and snow.

That’s one side of snow damaging car paint. On the other hand, what matters more is how you are going to clean the snow from your car.

Will you use the traditional shoveling method? Or are there other methods as well that ensures the safety of the car paint?

How Does Snow Damage Car Paint?

If you have heard that ice or snow reacts with the car paint and damages it, that’s a false accusation. Neither snow nor ice directly affects the car paint. It’s the method you use to clear away the snow from your car.

However, salt in snowy seasons can affect the car paint under several conditions.

If the car paint has rust spots, you might have to take quick action. It’s because salt reacts with snow and ice and reduces their freezing point. That way, snow, and ice melt faster, paving the way towards every corner of your car, including those rust spots.

Now, metal and water don’t get along very well.

The melted snow, which has now become water, is now harmful to the car paint. Of course, it’s not going to directly affect the car paint. But if you haven’t fixed the rust spots, that salt mixture will definitely cause damage through corrosion.

Moreover, when salt is mixed with snow, it creates free ions. These ions react with the metal and, as a result, oxidation. This whole process causes rust on the car’s body.

Now rusting is not a good sign at all. If your car is exposed to snow and is allowing it to melt on the body as well, the rust is going to eat away the metal.

Can You Park Your Car With Snow Inside the Garage?

If you are thinking of parking your car having chunks of snow and ice in the garage, that might worsen the situation. How?

indoor parking garage with snow 2

The temperature inside the garage is more than the outside temperature in winter. People usually keep their vehicles inside to preserve the battery. However, there’s warm oxygen inside the garage that boosts the rusting process.

Now, rust is like an enemy to metals. It first kills the exterior of your car, and if you don’t take notice, the very rust will make clear holes in the car’s body.

Besides, your car’s internal parts like the engine and transmission are more important than the paint. Since rust targets nothing but metal, it can weaken the mechanical parts of the car.

Over time, if you don’t prevent rust from spreading in your vehicle, the engine and other critical parts might break down.

Therefore, it is advised to first fix the rust spots and then drive your car in the snow.

Protect Car Paint From Snow

As of now, there’s no technique available to quickly get rid of rust. It takes a long time to make your vehicle rust-free, just like it gradually spreads to the whole car.

However, you can consider the following protection tips to save your car from snow:

  • Keep your car clean in winter after driving.
  • Always make sure there’s no chunk of ice or snow left on the car.
  • Apply protective wax on the car.
  • Put on the cover when you are parking your car outside.
  • It’s better to park your car inside the garage.
  • Use a soft brush to clear off the snow from the car.
  • Look for the rust spots and fix them if you find any.

What Snow Removal Technique is the Best?

Looking at your car covered in snow is usually alluring. That makes you instantly pick up a snow shovel made of plastic or metal and start digging in your car.

Apparently, it looks fun until you start scratching the car paint.

That’s why never use a metal or plastic snow shovel.

It has sharp edges so that you can scrap ice that’s stuck on any hard surface. Moreover, these snow shovels are good for removing snow from concrete walls. But if you use it to remove snow from your car, it might start scratching the paint.

Besides, things will become worse if the car paint is already chipped from places or has rust spots.

Scraping with the snow shovel might increase the damage to the car paint.

So what should you use to clear snow from your car?

Go for a snow brush or shovel that has rubber or foam edges. These cleaners are ideal for clearing off snow and ice from the car without damaging the car paint.

Have a look at the Extendable Snow Brush and Ice Scraper.

Another thing people usually practice is pouring hot water on a snowy car’s body. No doubt, it can speed up the melting process, but it has serious negative effects.

The sudden change in temperature might create fissures on fragile objects like glass. So always be patient while washing snow from the car.

Final Words

Snow and ice don’t directly damage the car paint unless corrosion has already taken place. Moreover, always make sure you are not using anything with sharp edges to clear off the snow from your car.

That way, you can get rid of snow and ice using an appropriate tool without damaging the car paint.

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