Washing Your Vehicle In The Winter | 10 Great Tips
Washing your vehicle is important, obviously! But did you know that it’s even more necessary in the winter, despite the unfavorable weather conditions? Salt, gravel, and slush can build up, causing damage over time. However washing a vehicle in the winter can provide its own set of challenges, and we want to help you take advantage of the moments when you can!
Wash When The Weather Is Right
Yes, your vehicle may be a salty muddy mess, but if the weather drops below -20, stick it out a little longer. If the temperature is too cold, you will not be able to dry off your vehicle quickly enough. Once the water within the crevices of your vehicle starts freezing, you’re in trouble. Wait until the weather is moderate, and give yourself enough drying time, that is the key.
Wash The Exterior First
Best practice is to get yourself to the self-wash, but the drive through works great too if the weather is on the milder side. Spend the time getting all of the caked on salt off of your vehicle. Rinse thoroughly before and after the wash stage.
Wash The Wheels & Wells
Heavy slush and salt build up wreak havoc on the lower half of your vehicle. Make sure to really get into the treads, rims and especially the wheel wells.
Don’t Forget The Mats
Every single thing you walk around in will make it into your vehicle. Remove the mats, shake out and wash. This will help keep your mats in great condition for longer.
Don’t Skip The Dry Time
Drying time is the most important aspect of the winter wash. Once you have finished washing the vehicle, use a shammy to get into the door jams, handles, fuel door, wipers etc. Nothing is worse than going to all of the trouble and later coming outside to a frozen vehicle. Keep your doors open and wipers up when you clean the rest of your vehicle. If you are going through the automatic wash, take advantage of the FULL drying time. If you think it’s not enough, park and give your vehicle another wipe down.
Vacuum The Interior
Get rid of all that gravel, and salt from the road. Not to mention those french fries you dropped while on lunch, you know who you are.
Handles, Locks & Hinges
If the weather is colder, give some extra time and attention to your doors. Spray some WD-40 on the hinges, locks and handle joints. This might even be a good time to spray your hood and trunk hinges as well. This will help prevent moisture build up.
Wiper Fluid Nozzles
Nothing is worse, or more dangerous than not being able to see. Make sure that you thoroughly clean and dry your wiper fluid nozzles so you can use them at a moments notice.
Keep It Fresh
This tip isn’t necessarily winter specific, but you’ve gone through the process of cleaning your vehicle, pop in a new air freshener. While you’re at it remove garbage and clutter. Dust off the dash, and clean out the cup holder. Also, make sure you have everything you need in your glove box including your insurance, and absolutely make sure that it is all up to date!
Lock Lube & De-Icer
Have some of this handy de-icer on hand after you have washed your vehicle, or even on those extremely cold days. Lock freezes happen, and these will help get you on your way. There are even several recipes that you can put together to DIY your own. Hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol and warm water to name a few. These do actually work when you’re in a pinch, but use in moderation!
Making just a few simple changes to your washing habits for the winter months can really help the longevity of your vehicle.
For more winter tips check out our 10 Tips For Winterizing Your Home here.