Updated: Feb 9
The importance of exterior car detailing during the winter season
At SpeeDetail, we get this question around the same time every year. The answer is a resounding YES! While the initial thought process is to make our cars look great and shiny through the warm, dry months, you should actually maintain your vehicle at an even higher level in the winter season. We understand the frustration of trying to keep your car clean through the constant barrage of salt and snow. We get it, it’s what we do for a living. We usually hear “Its not going to stay clean more than a few days.” Ironically, we don’t use this way of thinking in the rest of our lives.
Our houses get dirty, we clean them. Our bodies get dirty in less than a few days and we clean them as well. If we don’t clean our houses, they smell, the carpet is nasty and we open ourselves up for the potential of bugs and even mice. Your car is no different. It stinks, the carpet gets matted and stained and yes, we’ve seen bugs living in neglected cars before! Think of your paint like you do your teeth. They’re just going to get dirty again, so why brush them? Well, we know what happens in that scenario. Dirt and salt build up embeds into your paint, causing it to fade and making way for rust and corrosion. Once the enamel on your teeth is gone, it’s gone. The clear coat of paint on your car is no different. Although, it can be repainted, it will likely cost you thousands of dollars to do so.
One of the most common culprits for corrosion are the wheel arches and the wheels themselves. This is because these areas get the most exposure and usually get a quick once over when cleaned. It is very important to thoroughly clean all areas of the wheel and inside the wheel well. This is why we go to great lengths when it comes to cleaning wheels. This is something that separates a professional car detailer from an automatic car wash and even production car detailing shops. Check out this video where we demonstrate our wheel cleaning process. The wheel wells get cleaned and we use 4 different brushes, including inside of the wheel barrel, to ensure the entire wheel is squeaky clean.
Now that we know the dangers of neglecting our paint, let’s talk about how to properly maintain it during the winter months. You should really be doing more in terms of maintenance in the winter months compared to the summer months. With the addition of salt and de-icer on the roadways, your car is now exposed to more contaminants than any other time of year. The only way to combat this is to wash it regularly, preferably once a week. Car detailing on a once-a-month basis will still be sufficient at preventing long-term damage, but don’t expect it to stay clean the entire time.
Your car is also wet more this time of year and we know that sunshine on a wet car equals contamination baked into your paint. It only takes one winter of poor maintenance to cause permanent damage, so just like your house or your teeth, clean your vehicle, inside and out when it gets dirty. This is the only way to keep your vehicle looking new for as long as possible. How well you maintain in these situations is what ultimately determines value when its time to sell or trade in your vehicle.
We’re happy to explain what proper maintenance looks like if you need more help on this subject, so please reach out if you need guidance. Sharing our knowledge with others is a key part of our existence at SpeeDetail Mobile Auto Detailing. As always, thank you for reading!