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7 Tips for keeping your car clean this winter

Think you don’t need to wash your car in the winter? Think again.   

Ontario winters can wreak havoc on vehicles. With all the snow and slush build-up, your car needs extra protection from the elements and road salt. So, it is essential to keep your car clean to protect it from rust. 

If winter car washes sound like a frozen nightmare, we are here with all the tips and products you need. Here are seven ways to keep your car clean and cared for once it gets cold. 

Layer up

When you’re out in the cold, layers are always a good idea, especially when temperatures dip. Choose warm base layers and a waterproof outer layer.  

Insulated rubber boots will keep your feet dry and warm, and waterproof pants and a jacket will keep you comfortable. Waterproof gloves can help protect your hands from becoming damp or frostbite while you get your car all squeaky clean. If you don’t have waterproof gloves, try layering thin gloves like running gloves under rubber or latex gloves. 

Take shelter

Finding a place sheltered from the wind, like a garage or pop-up tent to wash your car is ideal. Staying out of wind gusts will limit the spray back when you’re hosing down your vehicle and help you stay warm. If you don’t have a suitable enclosed space, using surrounding buildings to block winds can be a big help.   

Or head to your local coin-operated car wash. The bays keep you sheltered from wind and snow, and they often have all you need to rid your car of slush, road salt and sand.  

But, if manual carwashes aren’t your thing, enjoy a wash from the comfort of your warm vehicle at Shell. Plus, CAA Members save 10 per cent on carwashes. 

Avoid hot water

Glass and hot water never mix well, especially in cold temperatures. Using hot water on your windshield or windows can expand minor cracks or scratches in the glass. Very hot water can also cause any protective wax on your car to melt.  

Before cleaning, warm up your car and defrost the windows before hosing it down. Alternatively, find a sunny spot to let your car sit before washing it. Plus, warm water, the sun, and preheating your car can help avoid freezing while you wash your vehicle this winter

Ditch the scrub brush

When it comes to winter car washing, leave the scrub brush behind. A dense scrub brush can be great for removing caked-on mud and dirt from your vehicle in the summer. But this can grind rough pieces of salt and sand into your paint and scratch your car in the winter. Instead, rely on a good rinse to get your car clean.   

Or use a foaming soap spray for some suds. Soap sprays can take care of stubborn dirt and grime without the risk of scratching your paint job. Head to NAPA Auto Parts for reliable products and low costs for all your winter car wash needs. Plus, CAA Members save 10 per cent on retail-priced parts and accessories.  

Don’t forget the underside

When washing your car, you’ll want to give the undercarriage lots of attention. The nooks and crannies of your vehicle are vulnerable to rust and corrosion from road salt. Use a hose to spray down your wheel wells and what you can underneath. You can buy anti-corrosion soap additives to add to your winter car wash arsenal.  

But for the top dense against rust this winter, trust the rust experts at Krown. They are Canada’s number one rust protection company and provide top-of-the-line rust protection to keep your car in top shape. 

Did you know CAA Members save $10 on Krown Rust Control applications and 20 per cent on all other Krown products? 

Winter wax

After your car is all nice and clean, consider some preventative measures. Waxing your car can help it stay clean longer and protect it from the winter elements. Wax acts as a protective layer on your vehicle and repels water and snow. Plus, the more you wax, the longer you can go between car washes. 

Stop the freeze

After washing, do your best to dry off your vehicle. Compressed air can help get water out of nooks. To combat your vehicle freezing up, clean in sections. Pick one panel and focus on it before washing the rest of your car.   

Next, give your wipers some extra attention. Turn on your wipers and washer fluid and spray for at least 10 seconds. It will protect your wipers from freezing. Then, roll down your windows (yes, even the sunroof) a few inches to prevent freezing in the seals, and don’t forget the open the fuel door. After each wash, wipe the rubber seals on the inner edge of your doors and use compressed air to clear any water from the seals. 

Stay warm this winter with Shell

Download the Shell Mobile App and set up Shell EasyPay™ to pay for your fuel from your phone. Plus, there is no need to freeze outdoors. Using the app, you can also prepay for your carwash. 

Make sure to link your CAA Membership in the Shell app and pay using Shell EasyPay to have all your savings at your fingertips. CAA Members save 3c/L on fuel, and 10% on car washes and in-store purchases. 

At participating locations. Conditions apply. 

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