Is It Bad To Leave Snow on Your Car Overnight?

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When winter comes, you need to keep removing the snow that falls on your car before it can cause any permanent damage. However, some nights, you’re just too tired to shovel the snow away from your car and might be tempted to leave it for the following day. So, is it bad to leave snow on your car overnight?

It’s not bad to leave snow on your car overnight, as it won’t do much damage. However, it depends on the intensity of the snow and the frequency of leaving snow on your car overnight. Brush off the snow on your car as frequently and as gently as possible to mitigate damage to your vehicle’s parts.

Read on to understand how slow can damage your car and how to clean the snow cover from your vehicle. 

How Snow Can Damage Your Car

While an overnight layer of snow can’t damage your vehicle, you need to make sure that you brush off the snow as often as possible to prevent a buildup. Snow buildup can cause significant damage to your car, depending on its intensity. 

Here are the different ways that snow can damage your car.

Loose and Cracked Windshield

Your car’s windshield is fastened to the car frame with adhesive. When snow falls on your windshield, It adds extra weight and weakens the bonds between the adhesive and the car frame. 

The excess weight can cause cracks on your windshield and can be more expensive when repairing your vehicle. 

When snow solidifies, it forms a thin layer of ice on the wipers of your windshield. Every time you move your car’s wipers, they exert more pressure on the thin layers of ice, causing the windshield to crack. 

Such cracks can be expensive to repair.  

To avoid this damage to your car, keep brushing away snow from your car’s exterior with a soft brush. You can use an ice scraper whenever necessary. However, remember to be gentle so that your movements don’t cause further damage to your windshield. 

Body Deformation

Snow adds more weight to the body of your vehicle. Depending on the material of your car, the parts can start giving in to the pressure and weight of the snow. In the long term, your vehicle will start showing signs of deformation due to the pressure and weight exerted by the snow.  

However, such deformation can only happen if you let the snow layer grow too big and heavy for your vehicle. This is why it’s important to remove the snow cover as open as possible. The deformations caused by snow on your car will reduce its value and decency, and overall aesthetic appeal. 


Water is a major rusting agent, and snow is the frozen form of water. If snow sits on your car for too long, it will cause rusting and for all the paint off. We don’t have to remind you how expensive it can be to repaint or replace rusted parts of your car to maintain its beauty and aesthetics. 

How To Remove Overnight Snow on Your Car

If you left your car outside last night and it has a layer of snow covering it, you need to brush off that snow before you set out for the day. 

While some drivers drive off with the snow covering their vehicles, it’s not a safe habit. The snow can be pushed to your windshield or on another driver’s windshield when you’re driving. It will block your sight and trigger accidents on the road. 

Here’s how you can clean up that snowy mess the morning after. 

Cleaning Off the Fluffy Snow

If there snow on your car from the previous night is still fluffy, follow the following steps to remove it. 

  1. Start by brushing off the snow on the top of your car and push it downwards towards the windshield and windows. Use soft movements to don’t peel off the paint on your car. 
  2. Use a soft snow brush with soft bristles to brush away the snow on your windshield and windows. A regular broom should also just work fine. 
  3. If hard ice layers form on your windshield and windows, you can follow the brush with an ice-scraper. However, be careful not to use too much force so you don’t break the windshield or the windows. 
  4. If the snow cover is heavy, use a push broom to sweep it away. However, never use a shovel to remove the snow because it can break your windows. 

You must follow this procedure every morning if you leave your car outside at night. Besides protecting your car from the harsh effects of snow and ice on the windshield and body parts, you’ll also be making the car safer to use on the road for you and other drivers. 

Other Ways of Removing the Overnight Snow Cover

If the snow cover on your car is minimal, or you don’t have enough time to brush it off, here are different ways you can use to remove the snow from your car. 

  • Warm up the car and activate the front and rear defrosters. 
  • Use hand sanitizer because alcohol has a lower melting point than water and can help thaw the ice. 

Don’t use hot water and salt to remove the snow cover from your car, as hot water will cause an extreme change in temperatures and can break the glass on your windows. The salt will erode the paint and rust the metals on your car, reducing the aesthetic value of your vehicle. 


If you leave your car outside overnight during the winter, you’ll find a thin or thick layer of snow on it, depending on the intensity of the snow. While this layer is not harmful to your car, it’s important to clean these layers before driving for the safety of you and other drivers on the road.

You can clean the snow with a soft brush and ice scraper or use a hand sanitizer to thaw the ice. You can also warm up the car and activate the front and rear defrosters to give your car a quick cleanup.

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