Winter season brings about a great deal of joy and excitement, but it also brings with it the challenges of harsh weather conditions—particularly for car owners.
Without a garage or a car shelter to protect your vehicle from snow and cold weather conditions, your car can be the victim of many unpleasant surprises.
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If left outside without protection, it could lead to chipping away the car’s paint, even rusting, or worst-case scenarios like broken windows!
But don’t worry—you can still protect your baby from the snow without owning a garage or other shelter.
All you need is simple knowledge of how to keep your vehicle safe during the long cold winter nights.
By following these nine all-weather tips on how to protect your car from snow without a garage, you’ll have peace of mind throughout winter, knowing that your vehicle is safe and sound beneath its heavy blanket of white weather protection.
Table of Contents
Invest in a car cover
With fast winter approaching, protecting your car from possible damage due to snow and other seasonal stumbling blocks is essential.
If you don’t have access to a garage, investing in a car snow cover, a windshield snow cover, is the best way to protect it from severe cold, damp weather conditions.
It also keeps your car warm and prevents dangerous freezes, for example, gas line freeze or frozen coolant.
Not only does a cover give you peace of mind when it comes to keeping snow prevent ice from building up on your car and other elements, but they are also relatively inexpensive ( especially windshield cover ) compared to the price of repairs that could result from winter weather damages.
Also, it’s quick and easy to put on and take off your car. Furthermore, covering your car when it’s parked outside will also provide added protection against theft. As well as multiple other protective benefits, for example:
- Pollen, dirt, dust
- Tree sap
- Falling branches and sticks
- Cat and birds claws
- Rain, snow, hail, and heat ( the last one is for me, living in Sunshine state, LOL )
- Car doors hits, garage junk, and kids (mainly for the indoor cover )
- Bird poops ( yep, we all know it, LOL )
And like with everything else in life, there are also some disadvantages that you need to keep in mind, for example:
Indoor car covers
Because they are made for indoor use (made from soft, light, and stretchy material ) might need a dry cleaning from time to time.
Outdoor car covers
Cheaply-made covers could leave marks and scratches, and condensation of mildew and moisture could be an issue with poorly made unbreathable products.
That all depends on the cover’s quality, meaning if you get a high-quality product, the drawbacks I mentioned above won’t be a problem.
Depending on your needs – and a budget – as always, of course – all about the money, LOL. There are three different car covers:
- Universal( basic and the cheapest )
- Ready-Fit(suitable for the budget )
- Custom-Fit( best for the money and your car )
Universal Car Covers
The best comparison is like with a shower cap – one size fits all – their shape is approximate to the vehicle’s shape.
Their biggest drawback is that they lose – because they are universal size – wind can quickly get underneath, drawing dust and leaving scratches on your car.
Also, they lack pockets for mirrors, spoilers, splitters, scoops, etc.
Mainly not the highest quality material but easily accessible at your local Walmart or Target, as well as online.
They will get the job done with some extra work from a car owner.
Ready-Fit Car Covers
They are much better fitment to the shape of the vehicle.
Made from much better quality materials than the universal car covers and easily accessible in most of the “big box” retail stores.
Custom-Fit Car Covers
They are precisely what they are called – totally sealed.
They will be custom-made from the highest quality materials with all the pockets for the mirrors, spoilers, antennas, etc., to accommodate all the add-ons on the body of your car. It won’t matter.
They all would be as close as possible to the body panels – pretty much like a “second skin,” LOL.
There is no risk of them blowing all over or rubbing against the paint.
The only drawback is the time that manufacturers will need to custom made them for a specific type of vehicle,Volvo,Volkswagen,Toyota, evenTesla cover,Smart Car, andHummer. No matter what you’ve got, LOL
As a side note, you can add a custom car logo or a scheme color.
Before Ill get to the best and most recommended covers will give you a few tips:
How to put on car cover without scratching the paint
1. Move around to the sides of your vehicle and unfold each side below the bumpers, overlapping slightly at the bottom when possible.
2. Tuck excess fabric gently against the underside with care so as not to cause any damage to your paintwork or exhaust system.
3. Securely fasten any straps, cords, velcro tabs, buckle straps, or other attachments designed to keep your car cover safely in place.
4. Finally, use an included cable lock (if available) to secure it from strong gusts of wind by looping it through the door handles above any corners and attaching it securely under your vehicle’s chassis between two sets of wheels near a corner of the cover.
5. Take extra caution when installing a cover not to pull or drag it across painted surfaces as this may cause scratches
How to remove the car cover and fold it without scratching the paint
1. Check to make sure the cover is completely dry before attempting to remove it, as wet material can cause scratching when it dries;
2. Unlock all locks and straps used to secure the car cover in place;
3. Begin by untucking the front and rear bumpers of the car cover so that you can access underneath;
4. Gently lift the sides of the cover, making sure not to pull or drag it too much as this could lead to scratches on your vehicle’s paint;
5. Fold the sides of the car cover inwards towards the center of your vehicle, starting from the front and back corners and working your way up;
6. Make sure each fold is secure before moving onto another section, taking care not to stretch or tug on any part of the car cover;
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7. Continue until you have folded up all sections of your vehicle’s car cover;
8. When removing a frozen cover, pour room temperature water over it instead of hot water, which may crack your windows;
9. Securely store away your car cover for future use in a cool and dry space away from direct sunlight or moisture;
10. Once finished, check your vehicle’s paint for any signs of scratches to ensure that no damage was caused during the removal and folding process.
Below are a few recommendations for the most popularuniversal car cover,ready-fit,heavy-duty outdoor car cover,hail-proof car cover, snow car cover,windshield snow cover, and the best you can get –a custom-fit cover.
Locate an outdoor parking space
Finding a right outdoor parking space can be your only way to protect your car from the snow without having a garage.
Pick a spot sheltered from high winds and heavy snowdrifts, such as beside a fence or up against the side of a building, and possibly avoid parking under the power lines.
Make sure to clear any debris or snow off the roof of your car before you park it.
Use the 1st gear (manual transmission )and turn your wheels toward the curb if parking on an incline to reduce the risk of rolling backward.
Replace non-winterized fluids
Getting these liquids changed or topped up with special winterized versions will help protect against any potential freezes caused by cold temperatures.
Consider getting winter tires.
Protecting your car from snow and ice in winter can feel like an uphill battle without a garage. Fortunately, there are ways to fend off the elements and how to protect your car from snow without a garage and keep it safe.
One of the best strategies is investing in quality snow tires. When temperatures dip below freezing, car tires, specifically winter tires with more gripping treads, can be especially beneficial for maneuvering icy roads and snowy parking lots.
Plus, this proactive approach will lower your risk of getting into a car accident due to slick conditions – a bonus!
Another essential tip about car snow-specific tires, as a part of proper maintenance, is to keep a correct tire pressure. Consider snow tires and getting snow chains depending on your location and local laws.
Put together an emergency kit.
It might sound crazy, but you might be stuck in snow avalanches. You never know.
Ensure that you keep emergency supplies readily available. This includes windshield wiper fluid, an ice scraper for ice removal, a snow brush,jump cables, anemergency shovel, sand or kitty litter for traction help if stuck in the snow, emergency flares and reflective markers for visibility during night travel, and blankets for warmth in case of emergency. And most important, keep a gas tank full and your tire pressure checked.
Get a portable jump starter.
Investing in aportable jump starterbattery pack is essential during winter months, given the dangers of cold weather to a car’s battery.
Dead batteries are common issues in cold conditions because the colder it gets, the slower the power-generating chemical reactions are happening inside the unhealthy batteries when it’s warm and electricity flow smoothly.
Thejump starterwill provide an emergency boost in case the battery gets too cold and cannot start the vehicle. That will save you from calling and waiting ( sometimes for hours ) for roadside assistance.
Wax your car before winter
Taking steps to protect your car from snow is essential regardless of whether you have a garage; one of the best precautions to ensure the longevity of your car is towaxit before winter arrives.
Applying a wax or other paint sealant on your car creates a much harder exterior surface and helps prevent dirt, salt, and other elements from sticking to it.
Additionally, the freezing temperatures aggravate any defects on an unprotected car’s paint job, leading to an increased chance of rusting and corrosion.
Waxing your car in late fall protects against lesser visited dirt roads that haven’t been cleared for winter – its layers provide you with peace of mind against potential scratches and chipping.
Use winter wiper blades
Ensuring optimal protection for your car during the snowy season is a must. Utilizing winter wiper blades is one key factor that car owners must remember.
Winter wiper blades help clear the windshield and are specifically designed for icy weather conditions when driving in heavy snowfall or freezing rain.
A big part of a clean car’s windshield is also windshield washer heaters that mist hot fluid onto your windshield by heating your preexisting washer fluid.
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Additionally, remember to protect other essential parts of the car, such as rubber seals and rubber components that experience extreme wear during colder months due to the buildup of road salt and melting snow.
Spray a little bit of cooking oil on the door seals ( not a hot pan, LOL ) to prevent them from freezing. Since the oil has a lower freezing point and repels water, you won’t have to deal with the doors freezing to the rubber seals.
Get a set of all-weather floor mats.
Protecting your car from snow requires a proper preparation. Investing in aset of all-weather floor matsis essential – not only will they keep any slush or snow away from the carpet, but they also provide an extra layer of protection against moisture.
Along with providing physical protection, all-weather floor mats help maintain your vehicle’s resale value and appearance by preventing stains and wear. Furthermore, they’re relatively low-cost and easy to find online or in most auto parts stores.
Winter season is an excellent time of year, but it also comes with challenges. As a car owner, you must be extra careful to protect your car from the snow and cold weather conditions.
If you don’t have a garage or car shelter to protect your vehicle, make sure you take the necessary steps to prevent any damage the elements could cause.
Do you have any tips for keeping your car safe during winter or how to protect your car from snow without a garage?Let me know in the comments!
- 1) Set Up a Car Tent. ...
- 2) Wax Your Car. ...
- 3) Build a Car Port. ...
- 4) Throw Over a Drop Cloth. ...
- 5) Trim Back Your Parking Foliage. ...
- 6) Use Interior Sun Shields. ...
- 7) Apply Paint Protection Film.
Buy a car cover
If you can't park under a roof, a water-resistant car cover is your best option. Water-resistant material is essential here if you don't want to trap moisture. Choose a cover that drapes over your entire vehicle from front to back.
Parking your car outside in cold weather may accelerate the rusting process on your brakes. While some amount of rust is unavoidable during the winter months (especially if you're driving down salted roads), you may reduce the amount of exposure to moisture your vehicle gets by keeping it parked inside.Will a car cover protect from snow? ›
Car covers will help to prevent paint damage to your vehicle as a result of ice, snow, and road salt. Keeping a car cover on will help to keep it warm, potentially protecting your engine from damage when you start the vehicle. A car cover will keep your windshield wipers from freezing and cracking.What can I use instead of a garage? ›
- Car Sheds. Sheds are the most common and popular alternative to garages. ...
- Carports. The second on our list of garage alternatives is a carport. ...
- Car Covers. ...
- Canopies. ...
- Awnings. ...
- Telescoping Tents. ...
- Quonset Huts. ...
- Portable Garage Kits.
Vehicle exteriors are kept in much better condition when stored in a garage which can lead to greater resale values. Because a garage keeps a vehicle warm, the fluid and oil are kept in a stable condition which leads to an engine that runs better than one that is kept outside.How do you winterize a parked car? ›
- Wash, clean, and dry your car.
- Plug air inlets and exhaust pipes with steel wool.
- Add fuel stabilizers, antifreeze, and check all fluids.
- Place battery on a auto shut-off trickle charger.
- Cover your vehicle.
- Place your vehicle in covered storage unit.
That snow that's piled up on the roof of your car (or any other surface of it) can pose a danger to other drivers if it happens to fly off.Should I put a tarp on my car before snow? ›
No one likes digging out the car after a storm, so if you have a moment before the snow starts, put a tarp or car cover down over your car. When the snow stops, one pull will leave your ride clean and snow-free.How do I protect my car in extreme cold weather? ›
- 1) Maintain Your Recommended Oil Change Schedule. ...
- 2) Watch Out For Your Battery. ...
- 3) Park in the Garage. ...
- 4) Keep an Eye on Tire Tire Pressure. ...
- 5) Check-in on Your Radiator, Belts, and Hoses. ...
- 6) Complete Tire Tread Checks. ...
- 7) Headlight Bulb Checks and Restoration Services.
Snow and ice can damage your car's windscreen or paintwork, so a winter car cover can help prolong your car's lifespan. Low temperatures can also damage engines and metalwork, but a winter car cover can prevent the vehicle from freezing over.Is it safe to sleep in your car in the winter? ›
A car can protect you from the wind and snow, but it can still get as cold as a tent in the middle of the night. And because cold air is passing through on all sides of the car, it's especially important to insulate your sleeping situation. A warm-rated sleeping bag can make all the difference.How do you survive living in your car in the winter? ›
- Write down the address of where you are parked and keep it close at hand. ...
- Ensure your car is in decent running order before winter. ...
- Buy jumper cables (and make sure you know how to use them). ...
- Try to always have at least a half tank of gas.
As car covers, tarps don't fit the vehicle well and are not breathable. Wind can blow dust between the tarp and the vehicle, which can scratch the paint. Humidity can't escape the trap (see what I did there?), leading to mold and mildew inside and outside of the vehicle.How can I protect my car in the driveway? ›
- Lock the doors and roll up the windows.
- Take your valuables inside/put them in the trunk or glove compartment.
- Park in your garage whenever possible.
- Use a locking gas cap to prevent gas siphoning.
- Never leave your keys in the ignition.
When at home keep your car key (and the spare) well away from the car. Put the keys in a screened or signal-blocking pouch, such as a Faraday Bag. Reprogramme your keys if you buy a second hand car. Turn off wireless signals on your fob when it's not being used.Do carports protect cars? ›
Not only can a carport protect your vehicle from wind, rain, snow, and UV rays, but it can also increase the value of your home and provide a versatile space for storage or other purposes. Let's take a closer look at the benefits of having a carport so that you can decide if it's the right choice for you.How can I protect my car in storage? ›
- Fill Up the Tank. When a gas tank is left empty, it can rust due to moisture. ...
- Change the Oil. ...
- Protect the Engine Cylinders. ...
- Maintain the Battery. ...
- Wrap the Wiper Blades. ...
- Plug the Exhaust Outlet. ...
- Elevate the Vehicle. ...
- Clean the Interior.