Wicked Weather: How Mother Nature Can Really Do A Number On Your Car

Posted on: 17 February 2016

Bad weather can ruin your day, but it can ruin your car, too. Storms, freezing temperatures, and extreme weather conditions can wreak havoc on your automobile if it's not protected. Mother Nature doesn't care how much it will cost you to have repairs done after she's pummeled your car, and she doesn't give a hoot about what those repairs will do to your auto insurance premiums if you file a claim in order to get them done. Protect yourself from nature's fury and use these tips to keep your car safe from the elements.

Hail hath no fury...

Claims for weather-related damage, especially hail damage, are among the most common types of claims filed with insurance companies. If you're lucky, you'll only be left with minor dents and scratches after a hailstorm, but if Mother Nature's feeling particularly wild, you could end up with dents, chipped paint, smashed windows, and even holes in the roof of your car.

To prevent hail damage, keep your car parked in a garage or under a shelter when you're not driving it. If you can't park in a sheltered place, invest in a hail blanket and keep it in the trunk of your car. If you're caught in a hailstorm away from home, it could take the brunt of the damage and protect your car from nature's fury. For more information about repairing hail damage, contact an auto repair shop like Brandywine Coach Works.

Nature's icy grip

Winter weather can be particularly harsh on your car. There are several ways that freezing temperatures and winter weather can damage your vehicle, including covering it from top to bottom in ice. Freezing temperatures can damage your car battery, thicken your car's fluids, and damage your windshield wipers if you try to use them while they're still frozen. 

Parking your car in a garage is the best way to prevent nature from getting an icy grip on your car, but if you can't shelter your ride from the cold, make sure you aren't trying to de-ice the car the wrong way. If you can start your car, do so and let it run for a few minutes to warm the engine, which will help melt the ice. Use the palm of your hand to thump your hood and trunk gently to remove sheets of ice, but never tap the windows or pour hot water on them. Frozen glass shatters more easily, and a sudden change in temperature from hot or boiling water can cause it to shatter completely.

Wicked winds

If you live in an area that is prone to tornadoes, you have probably been advised to get comprehensive coverage on your car in case nature decides to use your vehicle like a frisbee. However, tornadoes aren't the only winds that can damage your car. Any strong winds can cause serious damage if they force opened car doors back on their hinges, and any strong wind can cause flying debris to smash into your car if it's parked out in the open.

Not surprisingly, parking your car in a sheltered place is the best way to prevent damage from high winds. If you don't have access to an enclosed or sheltered parking space, buy a car cover and keep it in the car so that you can put it on wherever you go, if necessary. It may not protect your car from heavy debris (or being picked up and tossed like a rag doll during a tornado), but it will protect your paint from being scratched by small flying debris.

Mother Nature can be cruel to unprepared car owners, so take the time to plan ahead and know what to do if your vehicle is caught in some wicked weather. You'll keep your car safe from harm and keep repair costs from ruining your day.