How to know if it is safe to wash your car in the winter

This article was first published at Kolosso Auto, reposted with permission. Be sure to check out Kolosso Auto for all your car care needs!

For those of us that live in a cold weather climate, we know winter can take it’s toll on our vehicles, especially as the temperatures near freezing or below. Keeping up maintenance no longer seems like a fun task as the idea of braving the bitter cold to wash your car or change the oil is no longer as easy or appealing as it is in summer months.

Should you be washing your car in the winter months? Does it matter if you leave this task until warmer months return? 

Even though a regular car wash could pose a few risks due to freezing temperatures, it is still important to keep your car clean during the winter to keep salt from causing rust damage, especially in the brake area.

To avoid some of those freezing risks after a car wash, make sure you don’t wash your car right before the sun sets, and if your car can be parked in the sun right after you finish washing it, the sun will dry it off quicker avoiding some of those possible freezing issues.

Here are a few tips to help you with your winter car washing needs:

  • To avoid rust, wash off salt as soon as possible. Washing once a week is a great idea as long as the temperatures remain above freezing. If it is colder you may want to consider taking your vehicle to a full-service center where they will wash and dry it for you before you leave.
  • Keep your car’s paint waxed to protect the finish. Most car washes offer a wax coating for a little extra cost. The cost of a new paint job is much more so that wax is worth it.
  • Don’t forget the underside of the car. Lots of snow and ice can build up causing problems for your tires and more. Be sure to wash away any large chunks and keep your car running smoothly.
  • Think of rust-preventative car washing just like brushing your teeth – if you do it on a regular basis you won’t get cavities. If you do get a cavity, get it drilled and filled right away. Rust on metal works the same way.
  • Keep extra windshield wiper fluid handy, it is easy to run out in the middle of a long, cold winter.

If you want to go a step further, see how to prep your car for winter or make a Winter Auto Emergency Kit.


So tell us…
How often do you wash your car in the winter?


Photo credit: Flickr, daryl_mitchell

Jesica H

When she isn’t drowning in a pile of never-ending laundry or picking up Legos, Jesica is busy helping other parents make their lives a little less stressful with homemaking hacks, easy recipes, fun DIY projects, and more. On her successful blog, The Mommy Bunch, her Cricut crafting tutorials are the most popular articles and are what sparked her passion for helping others build a business of their own. Jesica started where you can find loads more craft tutorials and business advice. In her FREE Facebook group, Rock Your Craft Business, Jesica teaches other entrepreneurs how to take their craft business to the next level by building their brand, targeting the right customers, and utilizing smart social media strategies. Join us!

jesicaj1 has 1732 posts and counting.See all posts by jesicaj1

4 thoughts on “How to know if it is safe to wash your car in the winter

  • December 16, 2014 at 8:52 pm
    We get so much salt spread on our rural road this time of year that we need to wash them regularly. They would completely rust out if we didn't wash them off. Reply
  • December 17, 2014 at 12:15 pm
    I've never thought to wash my car in the winter. These are great tips! Reply
  • December 17, 2014 at 1:21 pm
    I usually just let my hubby deal with winter car-washing. I will definitely have to show him these tips! Thanks! Reply
  • December 17, 2014 at 8:08 pm
    I'm ashamed to admit we have never washed the car during Winter. It didn't occur to me that there was a reason to or that the sale contributes to rust. Our car is broken now but when we get a new one, I'll be sure to take better care of it in the Winter! Reply

Let us have it.....

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.