"Winter preparation is more important than spring cleanup for your car," said Larry Lavigne, car care expert for 3M Car Care. "The harsh weather can wreak havoc on your car's exterior and make for difficult driving. With a few easy maintenance projects this fall, you can really improve the performance of your vehicle this winter and enhance the longevity for years to come."
Lavigne knows a few things about winterizing vehicles from his many years in the freezing Minneapolis climate. While 3M engineers complete thorough testing of their products and recommended processes in the laboratory, Lavigne and his team take their testing to the streets. In fact, they field tested the new 3M Performance Finish last winter and found it stood up to 50 washes without losing its shine or protective qualities.
3M Car Care Recommends Exterior Clean-Up and Protection
For the car's exterior, the key is to get all of the exterior finishes cleaned and prepared for a protective winter coat, then keep damaging salt and sand off of the car's finish throughout the winter. The top 10 tips include:
1. Give it a good bath with 3M Car Wash Soap to remove summer dirt and grime without removing wax protection
2. Remove the tar and debris from summer road work with 3M Adhesive Remover (available at shop3M.com). Just rub it on with a microfiber cloth, let sit for a few minutes to loosen dirt, old wax and tar, then wipe off
3. Restore plastic headlight lens to like-new clarity in time for winter snow and fog with the new 3M Headlight Lens Restoration System, an easy to use solution for removing the yellowing and hazing that reduces headlight performance and visibility
4. Clean the wheels and tires with 3M Wheel and Tire Cleaner to remove brake dust and highway grime then restore tires to brand new finish with 3M Tire Restorer. It is also good for restoring black plastic bumpers and door handles to showroom style
5. Protect the clean finish on the wheel hubs or rims with 3M Performance Finish. Just wipe on and wipe off. Not only will it stand up to months of car washes, it also will endure sleet, snow and sludge on winter streets
6. Remove surface scratches with 3M One Step Cleaner Wax. This easy to apply wax eliminates surface scratches and restores the shine to the paint finish in one easy step
7. Give the car a good protective coat of 3M Performance Finish. This innovative finish, which chemically bonds with clear coat finishes, keeps the car's finish looking good through up to 50 washes. And it is simple to apply with no hazing – just wipe on and wipe off in minutes using a 3M Microfiber Cloth without any worries for residue left in cracks and crevices
8. Get the glass clean inside and out with 3M Glass Cleaner, which has a unique vertical cling to prevent drips and is safe to use on glass, plastic, chrome, metal and painted surfaces
9. Protect the upholstery with 3M Leather and Vinyl Restorer, which revives the natural sheen and soft feel of the factory finish
10. Clean the car's carpet with 3M Carpet Cleaner and protect from winter salt and dirt with 3M Scotchgard™ Fabric and Upholstery Protector spray
"Once you've cleaned and protected your car, all you need to do is wash it at least once a month to remove damaging salt and sand," added Lavigne. "When spring comes, you'll be ready to ride with a great-looking car.
"You never want to send your car out in the cold unprotected. Now you can do your own winter car maintenance quickly and cost efficiently – from the comfort of your own garage," said Lavigne. "At 3M Car Care, we're focused on providing consumers – whether new DIYers or automotive enthusiasts – the smart solutions to get the job done right, all backed by 3M's trusted science and innovation."
The 3M Car Care product line is a comprehensive line of 3M products for automotive maintenance. The innovative product line includes performance cleaning products, waxes, compounds, adhesives, abrasives and specialty products, previously available exclusively to the professional market. 3M's Automotive Aftermarket Division serves the automobile owner and hobbyist as well as professional body shop, recreational vehicle and mechanical service markets.
The 3M Car Care product line can be found at leading automotive aftermarket retailers and online through select distributors. For more information on 3M Car Care products, visit www.3Mcarcare.com .