Joel Rubel, detail manager at Victory Ford in Dyersville, and his crew have all the right tools and experience to protect your vehicle and keep it looking great.

Iowa winters can be tough on all of us — whether it’s the wind, snow, ice or prolonged periods of below-zero temperatures, there are few who don’t welcome spring with open arms.

While spring is typically associated with getting the lawn prepped and gardens planted, it should also be the time you pay some attention to what winter has done to your vehicle.

Joel Rubel, detail manager at Victory Ford in Dyersville, said this is the time of year to consider bringing your vehicle in to be gone over by a professional.

“I usually like to recommend coming in during the spring once winter is over for detailing,” Rubel said.

During a full detail, the professionals will go over your vehicle top-to-bottom, inside-and-out, using specialized tools and high-quality cleaning products.

Aside from prolonging the life of certain elements of your vehicle, used car experts estimate an annual professional detailing can boost the market value of a vehicle by up to 15%.

It is especially important to schedule an appointment once the weather turns warmer, as salt that plagues the exterior of vehicles is also carried to the interior by dirty boots and shoes, and its natural abrasiveness can damage sensitive fabrics or leathers. If ignored, those unsightly white stains can become permanent.

On the exterior, Rubel said it’s important to get a good sealant applied to help protect your vehicle’s finish by providing a defense against UV rays from the sun and inhibiting rust from forming in those little scratches and dings.

Some may be familiar with the option to get the spray-wax when hitting the drive-through car wash, but Rubel said that just isn’t the same as the products they use.

“The stuff at the drive-through car wash is pretty much a one-time thing — you put it on and by the next time you wash it, it’ll come back off,” he said. “We actually don’t use wax; we use a polymer sealant which is a synthetic wax. It’s tougher and has a longer duration than a regular wax does.”

Rubel said a traditional wax will last roughly three-to-six months, while the polymer is typically good from six-to-12 months.

While they can certainly put on a sealant at any time, Rubel said it’s especially important to get that coverage before the salt trucks return to the roads.

“We want to make sure you have a good coat of wax or sealant on before winter,” Rubel said. “A wax is going to help keep the salt and other additives from corroding down to your clear coat — you’re putting another barrier there.”