How to Protect Your Car From Snow and Salt

A Rivian parked out from of our detailing shop with the caption "Say no to salt!" referring to protecting your vehicle from road salt this year.

As winter descends, bringing with it the beauty of snow-covered landscapes, it also ushers in the less enchanting challenges of road salt. The combination of snow and salt can wreak havoc on your vehicle, leading to rust, corrosion, and paint damage. The good news? There’s actually some preventative measures you can take to safeguard your ride this season, though!

Firstly, what damage will snow and salt actually do to your car? Here’s just a few significant ways snow and salt can do some serious damage:

  1. Corrosion and Rust:
    • One of the most significant concerns is corrosion and rust. Salt accelerates the oxidation process, leading to the formation of rust on various metal parts of your car, including the undercarriage, frame, suspension components, and exposed metal surfaces. The EPA has estimated that rock salt does $5 billion dollars worth of annual repairs on US vehicles. This is because of the corrosive effects of the salt. Yikes.
  2. Paint Damage:
    • Salt can erode the protective layers of paint on your car. Over time, this exposure can result in chipping, peeling, and fading, making your car more susceptible to rust and corrosion.
  3. Brake and Exhaust System Damage:
    • The salt-laden slush that accumulates on roads can reach your vehicle’s braking system and exhaust components. This can lead to corrosion and compromise the efficiency and safety of your brakes and exhaust.
  4. Undercarriage Erosion:
    • The undercarriage of your car is particularly vulnerable to salt damage as it is exposed to the brunt of road salt. Salt can accumulate in crevices and cause accelerated erosion, leading to weakened structural integrity.

To be quite frank, that’s just the start of the list. There’s also fluid contamination, rubber and plastic deterioration, and electrical system issue to be aware of as well.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to help preserve the state of your car this winter. Say “No” to road salt damage with these following tricks!

Ceramic Coating

Winter demands a robust defense, and Ceramic Coating emerges as a superhero in the automotive protection arena. This liquid polymer forms an invisible shield on your car’s exterior surfaces, providing a slew of benefits. From enhanced gloss and water repellency to resistance against UV rays and chemical contaminants, Ceramic Coating is a long-lasting solution that ensures your car faces winter head-on and emerges unscathed.

Paint Protection Film (PPF)

Picture this: a transparent armor that shields your car from road debris, stone chips, and the corrosive effects of salt. Enter Paint Protection Film (PPF), a clear, thermoplastic urethane film that adheres to your car’s painted surfaces. Boasting self-healing properties and resistance to yellowing, PPF is the guardian angel your vehicle needs to navigate the winter streets unharmed.

Nathan’s Detailing is a licensed XPEL Distributor
We’re proud to offer the very best paint protection with our XPEL Ultimate Plus PPF and XPEL Fusion Plus Ceramic Coating services! Request a quote today!

Regular Washing

The simplest defense is often the most effective. Regularly wash your car, paying special attention to the undercarriage where salt tends to accumulate. This routine maintenance not only removes salt and road grime but also reduces the risk of corrosion, keeping your car in top shape.


Give your vehicle’s undercarriage an extra layer of protection by applying an undercoating or rust inhibitor. This serves as a barrier against salt and moisture, safeguarding vulnerable parts from corrosion, especially in regions with heavy road salt usage.


Embrace the age-old tradition of waxing your car. A high-quality automotive wax creates a protective layer on the paint surface, acting as a barrier against contaminants, enhancing shine, and making it easier to remove snow and ice. Be judicious in choosing your wax, though. There’s certainly some brands that may do more damage than good.

Garage Parking

As practical as it may sound, simply parking your vehicle in a garage will do so, so, so much in preserving your vehicle’s exterior. This not only reduces the need for constant cleaning but also protects your vehicle from snow, ice, and road salt. Have you ever seen the way snow plows fly up and down the street? You definitely don’t want your car to be in the line of fire of them.

Weather-Resistant Car Covers

For extended periods of inactivity, invest in a weather-resistant car cover. This shield guards against snow, ice, and salt, ensuring your car remains in pristine condition when not in use. However, please be judicious in purchasing and using a car cover as this potentially can cause even more issues. Here’s a great guide to choosing a car cover from Car and Driver.

Winter-proofing your car requires a multi-faceted approach, and the combination of Ceramic Coating and Paint Protection Film offers a powerful defense against the snow and salt onslaught. Whether you opt for these advanced solutions or embrace traditional protective measures, the key is proactive care. Equip your vehicle with the armor it deserves and face winter with confidence, knowing that your ride is prepared for whatever the season throws its way.

  • Friendly staff. Kept in contact with me on arrival even during a storm. Dealt with Melanie at the front desk and she was able to squeeze me in during a storm because i had a garage. When finished it looked like my car had been sitting in a show room. Appreciate you guys. Def will have a repeat customer

    Max Sperlich Avatar Max Sperlich
    April 28, 2021
  • I am due to have a baby in 2 weeks, and I wanted my CR-V detailed inside and out before the baby arrives. I appreciate the convenience of Nathan’s coming to my house to detail my car. I also appreciate the text reminders and communication. Scheduling on the phone was friendly, the men who came to detail the car were very professional and thorough.

    Katie Phillips Avatar Katie Phillips
    March 16, 2021
  • I received an auto detailing as a birthday gift and was so impressed by the level of professionalism and hard work that Nathan’s provided. The technician showed up promptly at 8am. He was here for 6.5 hours for one vehicle. It looks as good as new. I can’t believe what a great job he did. Additionally, he was very polite and personable. I would highly recommend this company and will certainly use them again in the future.

    James Terrill Avatar James Terrill
    April 16, 2021
  • Nathan’s guys did a great job tinting the windows on my car. I dropped my car off the night before and I must say the car was in great hands. I had my front windows done at 35% and the back windows (back glass included) done at 20%. I must say, i am incredibly pleased with the job! It looks very professional and I would highly recommend Nathan’s Automotive Detailing for window tinting. They also did a “spruce up” on the interior AND exterior which was totally unexpected, but very much appreciated!! I thought it was very affordable and couldn’t be happier with the work! Thanks again Nathan!!

    Brad Deliere Avatar Brad Deliere
    March 2, 2021

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