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I have lived in Utah my whole life, and being a detailer I am very picky about my cars always looking the best they can and staying pristine for as long as possible. Winterizing is a very important part of my picky-ness.

The reason you winterize your car is to prep the paint for the much harsher conditions in the Winter. Salt will eat through your paint (and even the control arms and axles under the car) if you leave it on there too long. So that is why we make sure to "seal" the paint with something before that salt begins to sit on there until you can get your car washed.

I winterize in October, the sealant I use (and everyone should) lasts for 5 months, so that takes us the end of February when spring is beginning! If the winter months are different where you live, then adjust accordingly.

First thing I always do when I winterize is clay bar, this gets rid of any microscopic particles stuck in your paint from spring/summer before you seal them into your paint. You can do this yourself and save a bunch of money, or have a wash do it and save a bunch of time. Car washes typically charge a lot for claying, but it couldn't hurt to check your prices, anything over $75 an hour is overpriced and typically shouldn't take more than 2 hours. On the flip side, you can buy clay and the lube you need to clay anywhere online and find plenty of videos on how to do it.

After the clay I use paint sealant. Paint sealant is much different than wax because it ionically and chemically bonds with the particles in your paint. This makes it last much longer and gives better protection for the winter months. DONT LET YOUR DEALER SEAL YOUR PAINT!! They charge anywhere from 300-900 dollars and that is just ridiculous. If you get it done at a detail shop or a car wash, it shouldn't cost more than $70. Doing it yourself is an option too, I have never used any consumer products though so I couldn't tell you which ones to get. Just do your research if you go that route.

And there you go! That is how I winterize my cars, I am not saying that this is the right way or the way that everyone should do it. I am just sharing what works. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your shiny dart!
 
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