So why is it that I own a Fiat Abarth and a BMW F-700 GS while having nothing to ride in during the long winter? I ask this of myself frequently as the house happy feeling sets in. Of course I can get out for a walk (not often at –30 degrees) and I do get out using the Honda Fit when my wife returns from work.
Somewhere down the road of life I have come to expect the things that I own to be in perfect and clean conditions at all times. In fact if I were to complain about one thing about the Fiat it would be the bug smashes on the front. Since there is no real bumper and the front tilts downwards to let everyone see the huge wicked scorpion, it also becomes a bug collector on the road. I carry a spray can of Honda Motorcycle Cleaner and Polisher that works well and I often have to wipe down the front when I arrive at my destination since the look of red bloody and green smoosh all of the front of my car is slightly undesirable.
But that is nothing compared to the options of driving the car in the winter. Many people tell me how well the little car handles in the snow and ice with the appropriate tires since it has Electronic Stability Control that is suppose to be better than most. Some say there is nothing like sliding sideways down a slippery road waiting to engage the clutch and here the roar of the engine as she pulls you around a corner. But I choose not to experience this rush.
But here lies the problem. There is no cleaning that can effectively clean the car to the condition of never had seen winter. The carpet is never as deep a color and plush soft since the salt and continued wetness all winter long destroys that. Sure there are harsh cleaners to get rid of the salt stains but the carpet is just never the same.
You could spend hours and even days with cleaners and rags but there will still be parts of the interior and engine compartment and underneath that will remain stained, dirty and the rust will begin..
So I prefer to keep my Abarth wrapped up inside and in brand new condition ready for spring. It is like driving a new car very year!
Lets have a look at what winter cars are like, especially for those of you down south.
First the interior. This is a look at the Honda Fit that is brand new and only has 15,000 miles on it and half a winter. Just click on these pictures and have a look at the condition of the car in full size and resolution!
Then there is the engine and all underneath the car. It gets bombarded by salt rocks and salt water all winter long. there are days that are warm and the salt melts and seeps into every little crevice. Sure there are protection oils and solutions but they only slow down the inevitable, RUST!