As Winter starts to take hold, how can you avoid putting scratches in your paint?

Since the Spring you have washed your car religiously, using some or all of the tips from our free guide to “scratch free washing”. Now that it’s darker earlier, much colder, always raining, frosty and possibly even snow, how can you maintain your scratch free vehicle and preserve your precious paint? You can lock the vehicle away and hibernate until next spring or…Follow our Winter survival guide.


  1. Continued washing, although you will have less opportunity to wash this time of year, it is just as important. Try to wash regularly and use the techniques from our free guide. Plenty of “pre rinse” will pay off, despite the fact that it doesn’t seem to stop raining, the debris, grit grime and contamination from the roads, trees and atmosphere are in abundance, ignore them at your peril
  2. Frost, take care when scraping glass, never scrape the paint and although very artistic and entertaining try to stop the children, the immature or intoxicated from scratching pretty patterns into the frost. Try to avoid spray “de icers” or at least make sure none gets on your paint, pouring boiling water directly onto the glass or paint is almost certainly only going to end one way, badly!. Thankfully these days most vehicles are keyless entry, but those of a “certain age” will remember the days of frozen locks, naked flame to the key to warm it before placing it into the lock, trying to defrost it.

Time always seems to be the enemy, but if you can, try starting your vehicle a few minutes before you need to leave, this will have two advantages, firstly, you will have a nice warm vehicle to get into and it will “de-ice” the windows. It will also help reduce the wear on the engine. Only do this if it is safe, we do not recommend you leave the vehicle running and unattended (your insurance probably won’t pay out either if it gets stolen).

  1. Snow, it’s beautiful for the first few minutes, but when the reality of trying to drive on snowy/icy roads kicks in, the frustration can be taken out removing the settled snow from your vehicle. Do NOT use the broom or snow shovel to remove the snow. Yes, these are efficient tools, but they will also leave a reminder, long after the snow has gone, you will have some lovely scratches in your pride and joy. Be careful whatever you use to remove the snow. Like with the frost, where possible start the vehicle a few minutes before, the amount of snow that gathers on top of your vehicle is amazing, even just one inch is a significant volume. Allow plenty of time, make sure you clear the lights, bonnet and roof. Get a mile down the road, the snow has loosened slightly and you hit the brakes, suddenly “someone has turned out the lights” as the snow from the roof slides down the windscreen. Now try and remove that with your wipers and watch the smoke billow from the wiper motor, or at very best reduce the life of your wiper blades.
  2. Most important of all is to take care on the roads, careful washing practice and a Scratch Shield can help prevent scratches, but it won’t prevent the damage caused by a collision of any kind.