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.

Your best bet is to make sure the outside temperature is above 30 degrees and to thoroughly dry your vehicle before you drive off.

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