When cold weather brings your community snow and ice, the winter wonderland quickly becomes slushy and dirty. How often should you wash your car in winter, if at all, and under what conditions?
The short answer is: When it is dirty. Most communities will spray a salt compound on roads in advance of a winter storm. Many community associations will spread rock salt on driveways and roads. While these materials are less corrosive than they have been in the past, they are still rough on the paint and steel body components of your car.
Temperature Matters – Obviously you cannot wash your car when it is freezing outside, but what temperature is the minimum? Is it OK to wash your car when it is just above 32, or does it need to be warmer? Car washes will typically shut down if the weather is too cold to operate, so a good rule of thumb is if the car wash is open for business, you can wash your car. The exception is if your windshield is cracked. It is possible that water could freeze and expand, exacerbating the damage to your window.
Use the Car Wash – Winter is a good time to take advantage of a full-service car wash. Running your ride through the heated washing tunnel and the employees outside to dry off your car will prevent things like frozen doors and locks. If you wash it yourself, take the extra effort to dry off your car before you leave. This will help keep grime from sticking as you drive away.
Wax Your Wheels before Winter – Ideally, before winter weather sets in, give your car a good waxing. Even though many modern auto finishes do not need wax to look shiny and new, a good waxing will help your car shed snow and ice and the road grime and salt they carry. A warming spell might be a perfect opportunity to get that coat of wax on to protect your car for the rest of the winter. If you are considering a new car purchase, ask if the dealer will give it a good polish before handing you the keys.
If you are ready to buy a car, call the O’Connor Insurance Agency at 314-434-0038 to talk with one of our independent agents about car insurance coverage. We’ll help you find the right policy to protect you and your vehicle from winter hazards.