Below ZERO Car Wash
If you are from an always warm climate you may wonder "Do you need to wash your car in the winter when it's well below zero degrees out?". Or "how does a car get dirty with that clean white snow?". And "how do you wash your car when it's below Zero outside?".
#1) Cars do get dirty even when it is extremely cold.
#2) Yes you do need to wash them.
#3) How is a little different then you do in warm weather. I will say that as hardy as we are up North we are not crazy enough to wash a car in our driveway with a bucket and a hose when the temperature is below freezing (at least not much below freezing). When it is below freezing and even sub-zero there are a few things you need to know.
The 1st two pictures show you the WHYyou need to wash your car in the cold winter months. Note the white stuff, that is salt that is mixed with sand the street crews use to melt snow on intersections so you can stop your car on ice and not slide right threw into traffic. Salt can damage paint fast and if left long enough will eat threw the metal of your car. Note the rust on the wheel well in the 2nd picture.
This picture is of a car that went through the car wash about a half hour ago. Out side tempature 10 degrees above zero.
This is where things get a little trickier and detail is more important. Pretty much every car wash stays open up to about 20 below zero, then a few shut down. The quality of the wash provider changes the burden on you the car owner. The highest quality washes in town have employees that dry your car for you after it has gone threw the blowers. These people usually do a good job but they are at the low end of the wage scale and a nice tip will guarantee a better job.
Once you car has gone threw the blowers you need to open each door and dry the rubber gasket and anything it touches. If you do not two things can happen. #1) your doors will freeze shut. #2) the rubber will be permanently damaged (see the next picture).
The next picture shows how even a half hour after the the wash and after wiping the car down with a towel, water can still seemingly magically appear. It's a good idea to double check things a little after the initial towel drying.
Next, do not forget the trunk unless you want it closed until spring. The same procedure applies, after the wash dry the rubber gasket and check it again in about a half hour.
It is not necessary to do the hood of the car as the heat of the engine usually takes care of any freezing but it certainly doesn't hurt to wipe it down if you wish. Keep in mind that even after a car wash these areas are going to be dirty so use a town that you don't care about.
The simple solution, in case you missed it, to keeping your car clean and in good condition is going to the best washes and giving the attendants a worthy tip.. then asking them to wipe down the areas mentioned.