Winter car washing is about much more than having a sparkling clean car in your driveway or garage. Car owners who live in areas where the weather can be harsh will need to wash their vehicles more often to ensure a well-maintained and healthy vehicle. Dirt and chemicals, like salt and sand, have a way of getting into every nook and cranny of a car, and, if left for too long, can lead to corrosion and rust. However, even if snow and sleet aren’t in the forecast, maintaining your vehicle and adhering to a few easy principles can keep your vehicle looking nice and in good physical shape. Keeping your vehicle clean can also save money in the long run by preventing rust-related repairs. Keep reading for Splash and Go’s top tips for winter car washing. 

Why Washing Your Car is Vital During the Winter

Not only is car upkeep and maintenance vital parts of being a car owner, but so is keeping your vehicle clean. A question we hear a lot is how cold is too cold to wash your car? The quick answer is that if the temperature is close or below freezing, it is too cold for a vehicle wash. That is, somewhere between and below 34 degrees Fahrenheit. Below we answer that question in depth along with many other commonly asked questions concerning winter car washing. 

When is it too cold to wash your car?

Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, if you don’t dry your car quickly enough after washing it, it will freeze. The hinges, handles, and locks, in particular, will be frozen shut. Is that to say you shouldn’t wash your car in the winter? Certainly not! Unfortunately, this is a common misconception made by car owners. Because your vehicle will undoubtedly have some level of exposure to road salt and other chemicals, you must clean your car throughout the winter. 

As a result of roads being typically treated with layers of salt to reduce slick driving conditions, the salt buildup is unavoidable. Unfortunately, salt corrosion is a frequent result of this, which means that salt eats away at portions of your automobile. The most sensitive components are those in the undercarriage, such as the gas line in an automobile. In the winter, not cleaning your car may damage its finish, resulting in more money spent on repairs.

winter car washing tips

How frequently should you wash your car in the winter?

We recommend washing your car every two weeks, or more often, if the vehicle appears to be in poor condition due to winter weather conditions. You should be especially diligent about cleaning road salt from the underbody of your car if you reside in a location that frequently encounters winter weather, where salt on highways and interstates is a regular occurrence. Salt may quickly erode metal on a car’s underbody, causing rust. During the winter, we suggest opting for an underbody rinse and underbody protection to help remove any excess chemicals that you may pick up on the road while driving. An underbody wash is an inexpensive option that you can add to your car wash at Splash and Go Express Car Wash and will be well worth it, in the long run, to keep your vehicle in good shape. 

Car Washing Tips for Winter

Cold weather has an impact on the performance of your vehicle. Snow, road salt, and other chemicals may damage your frame, and scraping away snow and ice can result in surface scratches in the paint. On the other hand, keeping your car clean in the winter may help your vehicle last longer and help maintain a higher resale value. Read more below for ideas on keeping your vehicle in good shape this winter season.

Wash Road Salt Off Immediately

Unfortunately, all of that salt and snow can harm the frame of your car, suspension, undercarriage, and of course the paint job. Splash and Go Express Car Wash uses the very best eco-friendly products to remove all of the calcium chlorides from road salt, preventing it from accumulating on your car.

Don’t Tailgate 

A wise road rule to always follow is maintaining an appropriate distance from the vehicle in front of you. During the winter, this will help prevent cars in front of you from kicking up dirt, dust, salt, snow, and whatever else is in the roadways onto the exterior of your car.

winter car washing road salt

Use Rubber Mats Instead of Fabric Mats

If you don’t take precautions to keep excess water out, your car could sustain water damage. Try using rubber floor mats to keep your floors dry in place of fabric mats. Additionally, the rubber mats will not absorb water causing mildew and mold, and can easily be wiped clean. Place thick towels under the rubber mats to absorb any dirty water, slush, and dirt. To keep things clean, wash the towels every week. Slush on the car floor can create hidden corrosion and costly damage to repair.

Wax Your Car in the Winter

To add a layer of protection to your car, be sure to wax your vehicle right before winter arrives. You can apply a high-quality wax or sealant every four months. The additional layer will help keep dust, dirt, and road grime off of your vehicle.

Wipe Your Windshield

Use a clean towel and cleaning supplies to clean your windshield and glass a few times each month. The extra step will help prevent filth from accumulating and obstructing your view.

Give Your Wheels Some Added Protection 

Road salt and grime can accumulate on your wheels and wreak havoc on the mechanics. Wheel waxes and sprays are available, so check with your local Lee’s Summit car wash to see what alternatives they offer. 

Inspect Your Vehicle Regularly

Check your car on a weekly basis to make sure there is no rust or corrosion on your vehicle’s frame. If you discover an issue early, you may get it fixed before the situation worsens.

Park In the Garage

If you live in an area where the weather can be harsh and prone to snowstorms, you may want to invest in an indoor parking space or park in your garage if you have a garage. Keeping your car free from the weather will help it stay clean and in good working order.

tips for washing car in winter

Good Maintenance Will Help Your Car Last Longer 

Maintaining your vehicle is an essential step in ensuring it lasts. We hope the above winter car washing tips help keep your vehicle in pristine condition as the cold months are underway! And, remember, be sure to visit Splash and Go Express Car Wash if you’re looking for a great local car wash that you can rely on to give your car an exceptional clean every time. At Splash and Go Express Car Wash, we take pride in our work and strive to ensure that each vehicle receives the finest possible service.