How Often Car Wash in Winter

  • October 14, 2021
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Answering Key Questions About Car Wash in Winters

For people living in places with cold weather, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep the exterior of your car clean. In areas where winter brings with it snow, sand, and road salt, washing your car requires much more than just a dust-free, clean vehicle. If not checked properly, the accumulation of salt and snow can result in rust and corrosion in various car parts.

Now, the question that may run in your head is – What can you do to protect your vehicle in winter, and how often should you wash your car? Here’s what you can do.

Make Sure to Undertake Measures Before Winter Arrives

Most people avoid inspecting their cars and getting them serviced until the last moment. However, this is not an ideal choice. The best practice is to start early and get your vehicle serviced before the winter arrives. This includes checking for any leaks or cracks around doors & hoods and ensuring that there’s no water damage on the floorboards.

But how are undertaking these measures helpful? By preventing moisture from getting into the interior of your vehicle. And not just that, servicing your car before winter can also help you better maintain it in the cold weather.

Factors Affecting Car Wash During the Winter Months

During colder temperatures, you can experience salt and dirty snow buildups on the vehicle, rendering the windows, doors, and wipers useless. Apart from damaging the exterior, sand and salt buildup can also impact some interior parts of the vehicle.

Considering these factors, it has become crucial to understand the frequency of car wash in the wintertime to get rid of corrosive salt and moisture-trapping dirt from your vehicle. For this purpose, you need to answer the following two questions.

  • Where do you live?

Did you know, road salts can prove to be harmful to your vehicles? That’s right; it houses rust that can damage various parts of your car. So, if you live in a place wherein salt builds up on the roads, ensure washing your vehicle regularly or at least every 10-14 days to remove the buildup of road salt from under your car. Opposingly, you can avoid washing the car for a bit longer in areas with mild winters and no road salt.

  • Where do you park?

Several people feel that parking their cars in garages (away from the cold) can help them keep their vehicles clean and protected. However, that’s not always the case. Parking your vehicles outside in open spaces has both its pros and cons.

Apart from the obvious disadvantage of your vehicle being exposed to salt and ice, parking your vehicle in open spaces has the advantage of preventing your vehicle from corrosion in various parts. On the other hand, the trapped moisture inside a garage can react with the salt leading to speeding up the corrosion process.

Now that you know the factors that can affect your car wash decisions in winter, let’s address some of the critical questions about washing your car in cold temperatures.

Which is the Best Car Wash?

Besides deciding the frequency, it is also essential to determine how you want to wash your car. There are several methods for a car wash. Some of which include:

  • Handwash

Handwash is the safest way of washing your car. There are quite a few different handwash methods, ranging from the bucket of water method to a handheld pressure wand. Whichever method you choose, ensure paying particular attention to salt accumulation in the corners of the undercarriage.

  • Automatic Car Washes

Automatic car washes involve driving the vehicle on a conveyer belt, going past a series of blowers and brushes. These bristles of the brushes can cause heavy scratching and damage body paint. Despite this disadvantage, many people prefer automatic wash for their vehicles. Why? Because they are inexpensive, quick, and convenient.

  • Touch-Free Car Washes

Touch-free car washes address the disadvantage of an automatic wash. In this method, the car is washed with chemical cleaners and pressure washers, without using hard bristle brushes. This minimizes the scratching on vehicles.

Here’s a pro tip: Ensure what chemicals they use beforehand as several chemical cleaners can dry out your car’s paint.

  • Rinseless Car Wash

 Rinseless car wash is a method that does not require rinsing your vehicle afterwards. This method is preferred because it saves the rinsing time. Although not water-less, this technique uses less water than other methods comparatively, making it less messy. The best part? You don’t need to wait for the water to dry out before driving off in the winter.

Why is Car Washing Essential in Winters?

Sure, a regular car wash keeps your vehicle squicky clean and new. But is that the only reason for a car wash being essential in the winters? Absolutely not!

A regular car wash also prevents corrosion and other damages caused by harsh weather conditions. For instance, if you don’t wash the windshield on a regular basis, you may end up with a lot of scratches and dirt, making it challenging to drive. In fact, you may even end up spending more money than necessary for repairing damaged parts of your vehicle if you ignore the relevance of frequent car wash in winter.

To that end, what is the best way to prevent your vehicle from various damages in winters? Yes, you got it right – A regular car wash. However, there are some things you must keep in mind while DIY or getting your car washed.

What is an Ideal Temperature to Wash Your Vehicle?

The ideal temperature to wash your vehicle depends on where you live. For regions with frigid temperatures, skip the car wash if the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. If possible, try to wash your vehicles inside a garage or during daylight hours. Why? So that the car has time to dry before the extreme cold outside leads to freezing the doors and windows shut.

How Often Should the Salt be Washed Off to Prevent Rust?

In winters, there is salt everywhere, ranging from streets and highways to sidewalks and driveways. Therefore, it becomes essential to wash off the salts from your car to prevent it from rusting. But the question is, how often? The answer is simple – At least once every two weeks. However, if you drive your car daily, it is best to wash the vehicle once a week.

The Bottom Line

You may face many challenges while maintaining your car in the winter season. However, now that you know everything about cleaning your car, wash it frequently and ensure an undercarriage wash to get the dirt, ice, and salt off the car. Paying particular attention and following these tips can help you keep your vehicle clean and working even in winters.