I recently got a new focus -first new car-. I was getting out the snow brush and was thinking it might scratch the paint. I plan to use a window washing tool covered with a microfiber towel. Is this overkill?
As long as your just brushing the snow off lightly and not pressing down trying to get every little bit off, you don't have to worry about scratching the paint. If a brush does in fact scratch the paint, it won't be anything a good wax won't take car of in the spring. When brushing a car off, all you really need to do is clear enough of the loose snow off so it doesn't blow off blinding you or any other cars around you.
I normally just use my arm to remove the snow from the painted areas and like stated above just go lightly. You can use the brush just don't press hard. My wife chiseled the snow/ice off a Sable we had and scratchef it to shit so don't do that lol.
Yeah, no method is perfect & avoiding a lot of pressure helps.
Car dealers use a plastic foam push/pull squeegie like broom, and don't try to get them perfectly clean.
I use a push/pull style that's smaller & extendable, with a brush/squeegie at one end & scraper at the other. With a lot of fairly soft bristles (fuzzed at the tips) it doesn't put too much pressure on the paint.
Cheap brushes with a few stiff bristles are the worst when it comes to choices.
I happened to be at the dealer for service, and saw the lot guys using the foam squeegees. Then they started the cars and let them run to heat them enough to melt off the rest. Never knew they just ran the cars to heat them clear the snow..
Snow, ice and the dirt that may already be on your car, can be one of the most destructive things to your paint. Imagine a large chunk of snow sliding off of your hood and the dirt previously on your paint is the gritty sliding board! Ideally, and I really mean ideally, it's best to lift the snow off. Now I'll admit I don't take the time to lift all snow off. I'm usually in too much of a hurry.
So what to do? Start with a great coat of wax/sealant. Don't be one of those who say, "I'm going to wait until spring to clean my car up good and wax it then". Horrible idea. The protection and slicker surface definitely help you avoid some scratches through the winter. Secondly, take extra care washing your vehicle during the winter. Especially for those of you up north where the roads are constantly covered in road salt.
As a side note, it was mentioned above that a wax will take care of winter/snow scratches when applied in the spring. That's just not so! The only way to get rid of scratches is to polish the clear coat and remove them. Some waxes will fill in scratches temporarily, so in a sense they are being "taken care of". But they are still there.
I did a clay/sealant/wax this fall hoping it would last the winter. I cared about my last car ,but this one is new. So I am trying to take better care of the paint. It does show dirt more than the last one. I have a small snow brush and a longer one that extends, I think the bristles are quite stiff. I think the microfiber cover might not poke through the snow like the brush would? Thanks for the comments!
Also it all depends on the way the snow is stuck on the car. all fluffy snow with zero stick is the easiest to remove. then the fluffy snow with a hard layer of ice under it (you parked the warm car while it wa snowing.. The first snow melts and turns to ice.. then the covering snow stays fluffy..
Then you got solid ice.. (worst possible) freezing rain than entombs the car..
You can't even get IN the car....
I used a long handles brush for most snow. the ice on paint?leave it alone.
On the glass you have to chisel it off so you can see..