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Winter Is Coming! Make Sure Your Vehicle is Protected


Well, it is officially Fall, and that means one thing… Winter is right around the corner.  If you’re lucky enough to live in an area of the country that has temperatures above freezing all year round, you can stop reading now, and just know that many of us are not as fortunate as you and are eternally jealous!

For the majority of us who have to deal with the hazardous winter conditions such as road salt, sand, snow, and ice, the cool Fall weather is the last real chance we have to get our vehicles cleaned and protected.  There are many, many choices for paint protection, so how do you know which one is right for you?

There are really 3 major categories of paint protection products:  waxes, sealants, and coatings.  These have all been discussed in some way in previous AAP Blog articles, so we will not spend much time on it right now.  However, here is a quick summary strictly from a durability point of view (some of these statements are general and do not apply to all products within each category).  In general, pure waxes are traditionally the least durable form of protection, sealants are usually more durable than a wax, and a paint coating is typically the most durable form of paint protection.  Each type of product has it’s own pros and cons, and one product is certainly not the best choice for everyone.  With that being said, I have chosen 3 of my personal favorite products (1 from each ‘category’) for durable paint protection for the winter months.

For wax, I have chosen the Collinite 845 Insulator Wax.  This wax is a great choice for several reasons.  First, the price is right.  This is certainly a budget friendly wax that performs nicely from a durability standpoint.  It has a loyal following for a reason!  The liquid product can easily be applied by hand, or as I prefer it, by machine.  When used properly, the product is easy to work with, and you can layer it for even more protection!

My sealant of choice would have to be Menzerna Power Lock.  This sealant offers great protection and gloss that lasts for many months, but is quite a bit more expensive than the Collinite 845.  Power Lock is also very easy to use, and can be applied by hand or by machine.  I prefer to apply by machine using a blue fine finishing pad.  Simply spread a thin layer of Power Lock onto the entire vehicle, and then remove with a high quality microfiber towel.

ATD | Winter Protection

A paint coating is the ultimate form of protection for your vehicle and will last years with proper maintenance.  CQuartz UK is a fantastic option for anyone seeking durable protection with incredible gloss.  This is also one of the most budget friendly coatings on the market, which is great!  One thing to keep in mind, however, is that there is a significant amount of prep work that is required before applying a paint coating.  With any form of paint protection, wax, sealant, or coating, the vehicle should be thoroughly washed and decontaminated if needed.  For a coating, however, you will also want to correct the paint to remove any surface defects and then cleanse the surface with isopropyl alcohol (or similar product) to ensure the surface is completely clean and swirl free prior to coating.  The prep work is critical, and if it is overlooked, you can certainly not expect the coating to bond properly and therefore durability may suffer greatly.

ATD | Winter Protection

Take advantage of these remaining warmer days and get your vehicle protected for the winter!

Zach McGovern
Attention To Detailing Peoria
Peoria, IL

12 comments on Winter Is Coming! Make Sure Your Vehicle is Protected

  1. Jeff Davis says:


    In your opinion, is there any advantage to layering any or all of these types of products for better protection?

    Jeff in Flagstaff

    • Hey Jeff – There is certainly nothing wrong with additional protection! I personally coat all of my vehicles with ceramic coatings, but I do apply a coating topper (CarPro Reload) on occasion to provide even more protection. This can also be done with traditional waxes and sealants… it is most common to layer a wax over a sealant, or you can simply apply multiple coats of your favorite sealant or wax. Hope that helps!

  2. Steve K says:

    Good article Zach.

    I have been going over to coatings and have begun using CQuartz UK. As you mentioned, proper prep is key for the coating not only to bond to the surface but to remove those imperfections before they’re “locked in.”

    BTW, winter is here in Northwest Jersey. We had 8 inches prior to Thanksgiving day.

  3. Steve K says:

    Forgot to mention, I ordered the Metro Sidekick Blaster. I was on the fence but with the sale and your review I figured it was time…LOL

  4. DPerk says:

    Just seeing this now from an email newsletter… a little late for me here in WNY! Haha. It’s actually been an incredibly mild winter so far… I just wish I’d had some vacation time to take so that I had an entire day to properly prepare my ride for the upcoming weather. May end up just dropping it off at a reputable detail shop to finally get the paint correction and coating that I want it to have. I’ve been a little too cheap to pay for a DA to do all of the work myself, so I’ll be paying some serious cash to get it properly done. These are great tips and info for the DIYers, though. My personal story may be a good lesson to be learned, too. 🙂

    • Thanks for the comments! There are certainly benefits to having a professional work on your vehicle, but on the other hand, you can save a lot of money by learning to DIY. Like any skill based job, it just takes a lot of time and patience to figure it out.

  5. Donald Greenberg says:

    Found this post when searching winter car car! What do you guys recommend for underbody protection? Already rinsing the underbody, paint, and wheels weekly at the spray and wash prior to Rinseless wash and wax in the garage at home. Thanks for any pointers you might have.

  6. Alex says:

    Hi Zach,

    Another great review. I’m choosing between Collinite 845 and Finish Kare 1000p Hi-Temp, I will use it for clients that choose wax instead sealant, which do you think is will have more wet look of both and how about the durability of both.

    Thanks for your help and knowledge.

    • Hey Alex – thanks for the kind words. To be honest, the vast majority of our customers want us to apply nano coatings to their car. Those that do not get a sealant. Very rarely do we use a wax of any kind these days. I personally have no experience with either products you are asking about, therefore I cannot provide any insight.

  7. James S says:

    In your point of view, is the extra cost in relation with the coatings worth it? I am starting to struggle with the dilemma of if I should invest into coating or not. Apart from the extra durability, ease of cleaning, and longevity of the produce do you see any other benefits of coatings?

    • Hey James – I applied my first coating to my own car 5 years ago, and to be honest, I will never go back to traditional waxes or sealants. The major benefits are durability, ease of maintenance, chemical resistance, gloss, and dirt resistance. The major downside is the fact that you cannot polish your car unless you want to reapply a coating. To me this is no big deal, and I do a light polish and recoat every 1-3 years depending on how crazy my schedule is and when I can find the time to do it.

  8. Richard Manrique says:

    Dear Zack – in winter weather Collinite says you cannot apply 845 as it won’t flash – they don’t like it applied below 50 degrees, although I’ve gotten away with it in 45 degree weather. Is there another wax that CAN be applied in cold weather for those of us who do not have heated garages? Also will Power Lock also have issues below 45 degrees – either application or curing?
    I traditionally use Optimum Opti-Seal on cold days as I know it will work down to 30 degrees in just a carport. Your thoughts?

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