How Winter Snow Damages Your Car (and Ways to Protect the Car)

August 20, 2021

You have no doubt been taught about how to drive when it is snowing, but have you ever considered how snow damages your car during the winter months? From a car, SUV, to truck, all vehicles can be damaged when it is snowing. That is why you need to take steps to protect your car from the adverse effects of snow.

So how does snow damage your car?

1. Loose and Cracked Windshield

Heavy snow piling on your windshield can strain it, causing the adhesive holding it firmly in place to weaken. This makes the windshield loose. At the same time, heavy snow will cause cracks on the windshield, forcing you to replace the windshield.

How does snow cause the windshield to crack? Thin layers of ice can form around the wiper blades so that much pressure is exerted against the windscreen when the wipers slide over the compressed ice.

When you park your car in the open when it is snowing, keep checking for the snow build-up and shovel it away if piling on the windshield.

2. Body Deforms

Heavy snow can deform the body of your car. When the snow gets heavy, the parts of the body of your car will start pushing inward, leaving deforms behind. This works to lower the value of your car apart from making it look less decent.

3. Rusting

Snow is just water in solid form. Water is an agent of rust, so you do not want water staying long in or on your car. The more you allow snow around your car, the more the car is susceptible to rust. Rusting eats away the ca metal, or let’s say rusting eats your car.

How Does Salt Damage The Car?

To help clear or reduce snow on our roads, city employees usually spray salt on the roads. This also makes the roads less slippery.

However, large salt particles gradually corrode any vehicle’s exposed parts, including brakes, wheels, mufflers, suspension, shocks, exhaust pipes, and engine block. The chemical reaction happens when the salt reacts with oxygen as the snow melts and mixes with air and the salt.

The parts of your car relatively low to the ground are especially vulnerable to corrosion. The salt can also cause the paint on your car parts to peel off.

How to Protect Your Car from Snow Damage

The following are the steps you can take to protect your car from snow damage:

1. Do Not Drive through Deep Snow

It may be fun for some people to drive through the snow but remember this can damage the car because the snow can get under your car, causing rust. The exhaust pipe is one part that easily gets damaged when you drive through the snow. The snow will also get stuck in the wheels, causing them to rust.

2. Park in the Garage

It may not always be possible to park indoors. But, where possible, park indoors when it is snowing. It is helpful if you have a garage. If you must park outdoors, avoid spots already with snow build-up because this can continue to push up against the car bottom, creating places of rust.

Related to this is parking in the streets during winter storms. Your car may get buried in the snow. It can then be damaged by other cars. Therefore, look for enclosed places to park your car.

3. Use Oil-Based Under-Spray or Wax

Get some oil-based under-spay to spray on the spot you intend to park your car. This can help reduce snow build-up. You can also apply a coat of wax on your car to act as a protective barrier on the metal parts if heavy snow has been forecasted.

4. Use Windshield and Overhead Cover

To protect your car windshield from the snow effects, you should use a windshield ice cover. If you are not willing to invest in one, use a large piece of cardboard or whatever you can place over the windshield overnight or if you are parking for a long time.

Does Snow Increase Your Chances Of Getting Involved In An Accident?

Yes, because snow makes the roads slippery, so that the tires cannot have a firm grip. However, the salt improves tire-grip. The snow also freezes the windscreen wipers; this can considerably obscuring your view. Worse, it is usually late when you realize the wipers are not operating and that you have limited visibility, so an accident can easily occur, damaging your car.

That said, you should always drive slowly when it is snowing, even if your wipers are working perfectly. This is because any of the other road users might be having visibility problems.

What Does NYDMV Say About Winter Driving?

First, under New York State law, it is a crime to drive a car with anything that obstructs your view as you drive. Obviously, that includes snow. Hence, before driving, ensure there is no ice or snow on your viewpoints.

At the same time, the law stipulates that your headlights should be able to provide enough illumination and that your license plates are visible and readable. Other road users should be able to see your light signals.

Therefore, you must remove any snow, hail, or sleet accumulation above 3 inches on the car surface before driving the car. The law does not apply when the car is parked.

Wrap Up

When it is snowing, remember that overpasses and bridges will be the first to freeze, so move with care. Also, slippery spots may remain slippery even after the snow has been shoveled. Remember to always have a snow shovel in your car trunk during the winter.

Some drivers throw buckets of hot water into their cars to melt the snow in there. This can be counterproductive because soon, the hot water trapped in the car will itself freeze.

Would you like to learn how to drive a car? We at Pierre Paul Driving School would be so glad to take you in. We have some of the best driving instructors in the state of New York, as many of our learners have testified. We are located in Brooklyn. We observe all the Covid-19 protocols, and we expect you to do the same.

Get in touch today.