Is it worth it to wax your car

Tips for washing cars in winter

Car washing in winter - do you prefer more often or not at all? We answer the most important questions about winter car washing in the car wash: How often, when, where and how - and what you should pay attention to

  • Proper car care in winter: what is good and how often?

  • Do not wash your car in very cold temperatures

  • Don't skimp on the prewash, it prevents paint scratches

There are many opinions about proper vehicle care in winter. Thewell-intentioned recommendationsrange from the tip to send the car through the car wash as often as possible in winter to the advice to avoid every car wash as much as possible in order to protect the paintwork. And if - then only a loving hand wash is the only permitted alternative anyway. So who is right? We answer thatmost important questions about car washing in winter.

How often should I send my car through the car wash in winter?

In principle as often as in the summer months. It is undisputed that a clean car in bad weather thanks to its shiny light reflectionsbe seen better and, above all, more timely can be considered the polluted counterpart. But since the introduction of bright daytime running lights for cars, this advantage is no longer so crucial.

So wash freely after yours even in winterpersonal sense of cleanliness: When you have the feeling that a wash is simply good for your vehicle.

Is it true that the car is extremely polluted by road salt residues in winter?

Yes and no. The statement that the wintry dirt - an aggressive, salty lye - has an enormously corrosive effect on the paintwork, i.e. that it has to be removed as often as possible, only applies to previously damaged paintwork with scratches or flaking.However, impeccable paintwork can easily cope with these attacks of dirt.

Even the substructure of a vehicle usually does not have any corrosion problems: with factory-made cavity seals, improved underbody protection and the use of galvanized sheet metal, this is more of a problemProblem of the past.

When shouldn't you go to the car wash in winter?

Then when it isextreme minus temperatures of below -10 degrees Celsius Has. Just as the human skin reacts sensitively to extreme temperature fluctuations, one should not expect similar loads to the paintwork or the rubber and plastic parts of the vehicle.

So avoid that Thermal shock, when the approx. 10 to 30 degrees warm water from the car wash hits vehicle parts that were exposed to the freezing cold shortly before. Especially pre-damaged or repainted paint surfaces are not always immediately visible to laypeople, but suffer from thermal shock in the long term.

The danger that Door locks freeze or Rubber seals freezing is also less at moderate temperatures.

Material science: The material the brushes are made of

The material that is available today for theBrushing the washing systems used is called polyethylene (PE). Depending on the type of system, the plastic is usually used in two different forms: Either foamed as a closed-cell foam or woven as "needled" polyethylene, which is often referred to as "textile" because of its padded fiber structure. If coarse dirt has been removed from the vehicle by a pre-wash, the paintwork remains flawless when using polyethylene detergents.

What do I have to consider before entering the facility?

How you have to prepare your car is usually written downwritten in large letters at the entrance gate. Not always noted, but of course: close the windows and sunroof, lock the fuel filler cap and turn off the windscreen wipers - especially the one Rain sensor! Does the car have one automatically opening tailgate, activated by moving the foot under the stern, this function must be deactivated.

And very important: absolutely before entering the car washremove all remains of snow and ice. Because they usually pull the brushes over the paint like sandpaper - and there are nasty scratches!

Which washing programs are recommended in winter?

The following also applies in winter:In principle, cheap is goodand sufficient - The main thing is machine or manual prewash To remove coarse dirt particles for the first time (emery effect!) and to compensate for temperature differences in a way that is gentle on the paintwork is part of the wash program.

Additional and expensive Super programs with hot wax or underbody protection are not necessary from a vehicle perspective. But of course everyone can decide for themselves what they want to treat themselves and their vehicle.

It is more importantControl by the specialist: Before and after the winter season, damage to the underbody protection can be detected and repaired on the lifting platform - rust then has no chance.

Which washes better: the portal system at the petrol station or a car wash?

In Germany there are around 1850 car washes and 14,000 portal systems. An ADAC car wash test showed in 2013: In principle, you should wash your carrather the car wash to prefer. But this is not due to the brush materials used, because here and there they are made of paint-friendly polyethylene (see above), often also called textile.

It is also not due to the chemical detergents or the washing time, which are similar on average. It is mostly thatmanual prewashthat makes the difference. Because in front of the car wash, there is usually an employee with a high-pressure lance who cleans precisely the problem areas that are hidden from the brushes of the portal systems.

Some car wash owners rationalize the (expensive) human pre-washer, which is possible in principle. But then the pre-wash has to be done machine take place at a drive-through station before the first brush contact.

In principle, this would also be a good alternativetraditional hand wash on one of the 2,400 self-service car washes: But many prefer to keep their hands off that in winter.

What do I do if my car is damaged in the car wash?

When in the car wash onePaint damage or rear-end collision happens, the question of liability arises. Under certain circumstances, you can request compensation from the car wash operator for the damage. How to proceed can be found in the information from the ADAC lawyers: Damage in the car wash

Tip:Check the car for damage immediately after washing it.Report any damage to the system operator immediately and get a written confirmation of the damage.

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