The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Prepare Your Car For El Nino

10 November 1997

Prepare Your Car For El Nino

         Preventative Measures Can Save Your Car and You this Winter

    IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 10 -- The immense environmental factors
from El Nino could have damaging and long-lasting effects on your car.
According to Accu-weather forecasts, El Nino is a worldwide disruption of
temperature, precipitation and ocean patterns which usually occur about every
three years.  This winter, however, they expect storms to reach the strongest
levels since the 1982 El Nino storm season.
    Although El Nino affects parts of the country differently, weathermen
predict that the worst damage may appear along the West and Gulf Coasts, where
the ocean and atmosphere are strongly tied together during the winter months.
The West Coast can expect heavier precipitation, while Southerners can
anticipate a wetter and chillier winter with possible ice and snow storms.
The good news is that those on the East Coast can look for a milder winter
this year.
    Meguiar's, Inc., one of the leading experts in automotive surface care
products is well known for continually studying the environmental impact on
car finishes.  Based on the expected severity of this El Nino season, they
prescribe the following steps to ward off its ill effects.
    Keep in mind that the value of your car is most affected by its
appearance.  According to Barry Meguiar, "An ounce of prevention right now
will go a long way to protect you and the appearance of your car through the
worst storms this season."  With this in mind, Meguiar's recommends the
following top 10 tips and common sense guidelines:
    1.  Be careful where you park your car.  Park under solid cover whenever
possible.  Do not park under trees, where fallen leaves, tree sap, dirt and
even branches may fall on or cling to and potentially damage your vehicle's
    2.  Be alert when parking cars underground or in elevated parking
structures and watch out for leaking garage ceilings which may cause mineral-
filled water spots if they fall on your automobile.
    3.  Replace your good carpet mats with waterproof or rubber mats for the
season.  Rain or snow can cause mildew and may ruin carpeting.
    4.  For those automobiles with convertible tops, make sure the rubber
molding is in top condition.  Check for new leaks by running a hose over the
top for 10 minutes and observe by sitting inside vehicle and checking for any
possible leaks before the rain comes.
    5.  Take care of the plastic windows on convertible tops.  Keep clean and
clear of residue which may obstruct your view during rainy season or scratch
the rear windows if they are plastic.
    6.  Replace old windshield wipers before a rain storm.
    7.  Check front and rear defrosters and fog lamps for clear viewing in
rain or snow storms.
    8.  If your vehicle breaks down in rain, floods or snow, it is important
to have a first aid kit, change of clothes and shoes in trunk of car.  Keep an
umbrella in your side passenger compartment for easy access not in the trunk.
    9.  Keep a cellular phone with you in case of emergencies as well as your
automobile club or roadside assistance membership card.  Keep maps and a
flashlight in glove compartment in case of flooded streets.
    10.  Make sure your paint finish is smooth and clean as glass before
applying car wax.  Otherwise, the wax/polymer protection will not last.  If
your paint finish feels rough, use a clay detailer like Meguiar's Smooth 'n
Clean first.  Then your wax will apply easier and last longer.  A second and
third coat of wax, especially below the molding, will make it even more
difficult for contamination to stick to your finish during the severe weather
    Because El Nino will affect parts of the country differently, Meguiar's
offers personalized prescriptions based on the area you live.  To receive a
free, personalized Car Care Prescription indexed to your area, consumers can
call 1-800-545-3321.  The operator will ask a variety of questions concerning
the car's make, model, color, condition and location along with the owner's
maintenance habits, time availability and appearance goals.
    Since 1901, Meguiar's surface care experts have worked hand-in-hand with
manufacturers and paint suppliers around the world to create highly
specialized surface care products.  Used in most of the nation's preeminent
automotive museums, Meguiar's, Inc. manufactures surface care products for the
automotive, aviation, fiberglass, plastics, marine and furniture industries.
    For more information, please call Leslie Kennedy at (800) 854-8073 or see
us on the World Wide Web at  For an interview with
Meguiar's, please call Kim Seguin at (818) 992-4353.

SOURCE  Meguiar's, Inc.