The last thing most car owners think about in the coldest months of the year is washing their cars, but it should be a priority. Even your best car wash labors can be undone with one snowfall, which makes this routine vehicle upkeep a frustrating prospect. To keep your car in excellent shape throughout the year, however, you should make the effort worth your time. Here are some helpful tips to make winter car washing easier for you.
How Cold Is Too Cold
Washing your car when it’s freezing out sounds almost worse than not cleaning it at all. You should aim for those days when the temperatures are on the warmer side of freezing. Daytime also makes more sense, when you can see what you need to clean, and sunlight may help warm the exterior of your car. If you have a long stretch of below-freezing weather, you can opt to run your car for a while to heat it up before giving it a quick wash.
Assemble Your Tools
Gather up the products and tools you need to get the job done quickly. A couple of buckets, thick, waterproof gloves, soft rags, gentle car washing detergent, and a wax or sealant should do the trick. Save yourself another trip out in the cold by shopping online with a site that offers free delivery on auto parts and other products, so you’ll have everything to make it easy right at home.
Make Some Changes
Before the snowy season even starts, you should check over your vehicle for any chipped paint and use a good wax and sealant to prevent corrosion from any road salt buildup. You may also want to change your floor mats from carpet to rubber to protect the floor of your car; the salt and melted snow from your shoes can seep down to the metal flooring underneath, resulting in rust if left unchecked. Switch your windshield washing fluid with a de-icing agent to help you remove ice on cold mornings. An anti-fog coating on your windows can also be a big help; there’s nothing worse than running late and not being able to see out of your windows because of condensation.
It’s a Wash
Be efficient when washing your car on a cold day. Start at the top and work your way down the car, making sure to spend extra time on the undercarriage, door handles, and behind mud flaps, where road dirt and salt can accumulate. You may want to work in sections, washing, rinsing, and drying a portion of your car at a time, saving the bottom for last. Be sure to give some extra attention to the windshields and side windows; knowing how to clean car windows to keep them clear can help you with visibility when you are driving in wintery conditions.
Get in the habit of washing your car twice a month, and you can reap the benefits of your hard work. After all, your car does a lot to protect you on those cold days, so you can pay back the favor to care for your vehicle.