Washing your car during the winter--when you can is a must. Salt, dirt, road film and the like tend to get lodged in between your doors, trunk, on and around your lights and windshield. When the temperatures are 40 degrees and above, you should wash your vehicle when you can. Because of the cold, we tend to wait in our cars in long lines at the automated car washes--I have done it in the past and I will do it in the future. The advantages of these automated car washes is that they use hot water. We all know that soap and hot water are great for removing dirt. Plus these automated washes have hot wax or a clear coat protectant. Since I cannot wax my car during the winter, I like to know that I can go to the automated car wash and get my car cleaned and waxed.
The following are tips to keep in mind while keeping your car clean during the winter.
Don't wash your car at night--the temps tend to drop below freezing and if your car is wet, your doors will freeze. Also this is not good for the hinges on your doors either. So wash your car during the day while the sun is shining or when the temps are above 40 degrees. If you have thick ice build-up on your hood or trunk, NO reasonable amount of hot water will remove it in an automated car wash. You may have to do this by self-serve if you don't mind standing out in the cold wind. I deal with this by knowing that all the waxing I have done during the warmer months is protecting my finish and when the weather allows or the sun melts the ice on my hood and trunk--I go straight to the automated car wash and wash my car. I have to tell you that if the sun is shining and you want to wash your car--use the cheapest method. Chances are if the sun is shining, the snow is melting causing the roads to be wet--as soon as you leave the car wash, you will be replacing old dirt with new, wet dirt and salt! Use your best judgement. I am NOT suggesting you wash your car ALL the time during the winter--that's not even possible. But I am suggesting you give your car a break when the weather allows and wash it. Your wheels are very important also. Keep them as clean as you can. The winter provides MORE dirt than normal AND it adds salt to it! You will notice that your brakes and wheels need care as well--not to mention, your ride will be smoother one.
These are just a few tips to get you through the winter. So be smart and use your best judgement. Your car will thank you. Stay safe and warm this winter by packing a winterizing kit. You can get information from AAA.com.
Also, while ice scrapers are nice to have, NEVER use it on your vehicle--use ONLY ON YOUR WINDOWS--or you will be needing more than a wax job when Spring comes!