A simple car wash will not remove winter’s elements from your vehicle and can increase your chances of long term interior and exterior damage.
Elements that are sprayed on your local roads during the winter to increase more favorable driving conditions can be major contributors to the creation of rust on your vehicle. Ziebart offers the following tips to ensure your vehicle is thoroughly cleaned outside and inside to ensure your vehicle looks great for years to come.
From an exterior standpoint, after a tough winter, it is very important to get all of the salt off of your vehicle. A simple carwash won’t do it. Automatic carwashes just can’t get into those critical seams and hidden areas where the salt residue piles up. The only real way to get it done is to get a little dirty. From under the car you can access all of the areas that tend to collect salt. Places like the tops of frame-rails or the areas behind the wheel wells – even inside the rocker panels should be completely rinsed out with a high-pressure power washer.
You should also take the time to care for the painted surfaces of your vehicle. Make sure a high quality car-wash soap is used to clean the outside of your vehicle. These cleaners are specifically designed to remove contaminates from automotive paint. Pay special attention to seams and seals. Weather stripping tends to catch a lot of salt and sand during winter driving. If you don’t have the tools to remove the seals, rinse behind them very well with lots of clean water.
Now that you have cleaned the outside, it’s time to focus on the inside. Those crusty, white salt stains on the carpet and floor mats are not just ugly, they are also damaging to the fabric and the surface. As the snow from your boots melts, the water can carry that salt down into the padding – even down to the floor pan. A quick surface cleaning may improve the appearance for a while, but leaving the salt below the surface will lead to deterioration of the padding and worse, rust. An annual deep cleaning will help to prevent that damage. Once the carpets are scrubbed clean, it is very important to rinse out all of that soap and the residual salt from below the surface. An extractor with heated rinse water injection is by far the best way to accomplish this. However, if this is not a typical tool in your garage, a shop vacuum should be used to suck out the rinse water including under and between the seats. These areas are typically the lowest areas of the floor board. Therefore, any liquid, whether it’s spilled coffee or melted snow eventually ends up in those hard to reach areas.