There’s more salt on your car than on a Snyder pretzel. More sand than on Daytona Beach. But when should you wash your car in the winter?
The American Automobile Association (AAA) encourages car owners to regularly wash their vehicles because of the severe damage road salt and ice melter chemicals can have on your car. So, washing is more than just about making your car look good (which doesn’t even last very long in winter, frankly). Road salt can corrode the underside of your vehicle and especially damage sensitive brake lines.
When it’s dirty.
You want to get rid of salt residue and deposits that can cause rust. Waiting too long to wash can let the salt start to corrode the metal, experts say. This is why you need to get the undercarriage washed often. It’s the part of the car that gets the most exposure to road salt, so why not make sure it’s taken care of all winter? You can’t rustproof brake lines as you can the frame of the vehicle, so they’re vulnerable.
When it’s warm enough.
If you do it in frigid temperatures, that’s when we see doors handles and locks freezing, use 30 degrees as a good gauge.
Tips for reducing corrosion from salt.
Dry your car thoroughly after washing. That helps prevent salt from sticking as you drive away from the car wash. Wax your car just before salt season begins, and during the winter as needed. That also reduces the amount of salt that sticks to the body. Keep in mind that washing your car repeatedly is good for your car’s finish because it removes road grime and salt, but it can also beat up your car’s clear coat and paint over time. Make sure you get your car waxed before things get really bad, and then get it waxed again during the winter at least once more. What this does is create a barrier so repeated washes aren’t as damaging.
Keep all of the above tips in mind this winter, and your precious vehicle will be far better off in the short, as well as the long run.
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