Regularly washing your car in the winter is important to your vehicle’s health. Dirt and grime trap salt and moisture against the surfaces of your vehicle where it can eat away your topcoat, paint and undercarriage. Removing sand, gravel and the corrosive salt used by road maintenance crews preserves your automobile’s visible exterior, above and below. The following tips will make cleaning your vehicle much easier:
When to go to the carwash
Look for a string of days in the weather forecast without precipitation and when the temperature is sitting just below zero. You will maximize your clean car time when it is still cold enough to avoid re-dirtying your car from thawing, mucky streets and minimize having a full-car freeze-up when the temperature isn’t too cold.
What to bring
Bring a clean towel or two, lock de-icer, WD-40, and a gallon of low-temperature washer fluid.
On the way to the carwash
Blast the heat and turn on your front and back defrosters. Warming your automobile’s glass and seals will speed water evaporation, preventing it from icing up your windows and doors.
At the carwash - what to do
Include an undercarriage wash, and drive slowly over it to remove the dirt and salt from the nooks and crannies beneath your car.
Avoid the brush device and abrasively scrubbing your vehicle. Instead, use the soapy spray wand to scour dirt away. Pay special attention to the tires, rims and wheel wells, clearing them of debris. Crouch or bend, bringing your eye level down to see the grime clinging to the panels closest to the road. Next, use the water wand to thoroughly rinse the soap away.
Once the car is clean, jump in the car and run the wipers, steadily spraying with the low-temperature window wash for about 15 seconds. Use a lot of this liquid, coating the wiper blades and glass to in it. This will help your wipers not stick to the glass, and will ensure that the spray nozzles are filled with a substance that resists freezing, rather than water.
If your carwash has an air dryer, use it all over the exterior of the vehicle. This will help get rid of excess moisture. Before leaving the carwash, open the doors, trunk, and hood, and roll down windows a bit. Bring out the towel and wipe any areas where a moving part meets a stationery one, for example, where moving windows meet window seals, or where swinging doors meet door wells. Rub the tops of the windows and the rubber seals around the windows. Swab around the doors and trunk lid, especially the seals, remembering to towel the wells where the doors and trunk lid meet the car. Wipe the gas tank door and all of the door handles. Use the lock de-icer in the keyholes and WD40 on any mechanisms that might seize up, like both sides of the door latches.
Again, crank up the heat and turn on your defrosters, giving your car the best chance to stay ice-free.
Once at home
Open each door and window again, removing visible moisture with a swipe of the towel. Work each door handle a few times and apply the lock de-icer liberally.
A one-time application of Ceramx coating provides a protective layer to your vehicle, keeping your car clear of grime, ice and snow. Ceramx envelops your vehicle in a revolutionary protective shield, maintaining its factory topcoat and preventing the adhesion of ice, snow, dirt and salt. This increases visibility and keeps your vehicle’s surfaces clean and rust free.