Winter Road Gunk

road gunknoun : a viscous mixture of liquid and solid components that may include dust, dirt, sand, mud, asphalt, pebbles, snow, anti-freeze, engine oil, road salt and other de-icers, grease, and finely-ground particles of broken glass, rubber, and plastic.

Winter weather has spread across much of the nation, bringing with it an epidemic of winter road gunk that splatters across the sides of your vehicle, coats your headlights, fouls your chrome, collects in your wheel wells, sprays up onto the windshield, and makes driving an absolute misery. In addition, the chemical composition of road gunk is genuinely hard on your auto paint job. It’s this time of year when those who own vehicles they’re proud to drive would just as soon stay home and watch TV rather than get out on the roads and risk the damage to their paint just so they can socialize over the holidays. Yep, road gunk is nasty. You don’t want it on your car’s paint. Heck, you probably don’t even want it dripping all over the floor of your garage. But, unfortunately, you’re probably going to have to get out on the roads sooner than later and brave the slushy puddles of road gunk so that you can get to work and the grocery store. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do for your car to minimize the impact of road gunk on your paint job, wheels, and chrome.

When it comes to your paint job, you may want to keep a couple of things in mind. First, the roads are generally slushier in the daytime. If you have to get out, watch the roads for puddles of gunk while the sun is still shining. That’s good preventive advice. In addition, get your car a nice wax job. With all the salt and oil and chemical nastiness that comes with winter road gunk, your car may weather the season better if it has a protective layer between the paint and the gunk. And, of course, when you do get road gunk splattered all over your car, take it to the manual car wash and spray that gunk off the surfaces.

With wheels – especially if you own a really nice set of rims – you may want to consider swapping them out for an older set until spring comes and the road conditions improve. Chrome and salty road gunk just don’t mix well. Obviously, not many folks have a spare set of wheels and tires sitting in their garage, but it’s something worth mentioning. Beyond swapping out your chrome wheels for a winter set, you can go over your wheels with high-quality chrome cleaner. Put on one application and polish it to a high shine. Then repeat the process. This double-layer effect may help to protect your chrome wheels or other parts from the ravages of winter road gunk.

Outside of the preventive measures listed above, your best plan of attack after returning home with winter road gunk all over your prized vehicle is to first spray off all the accumulated nastiness, then utilize a gentle cleaning agent that you can spray on and wipe off to prevent any sticky residue from eating away at your paint. Lifter-1 Bug & Tar Remover safely cleans paint, windows, bumpers, auto grilles, wheel covers, chrome, and headlights. Lifter-1 has served the automotive market for over 20 years. Our citrus-based formula contains no kerosene and is safe on clear-coat finishes. Spray on. Wait 30 seconds. Wipe with a clean cloth and rinse.