Author Topic: Wash the salt off my car?  (Read 8766 times)

spider1204

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Wash the salt off my car?
« on: December 16, 2013, 10:22:26 AM »
I'm currently staying in New England and as a result now have a lot of road salt all over my car.  My grandfather thinks I should go get a car wash in order to avoid having the car rust more quickly.

While I'm against car washes for vanity purposes I do agree that it would be better for keeping the car from rusting, but is it worth it? It seems like my car would get just as much salt the next time I drove somewhere.

Also, I'm not able to DIY because the folks I'm staying with don't want a frozen driveway.  Finally, the other circumstance is that I'll be heading out to NV in a couple of weeks so maybe I should just clean it up once I'm out of the land of road salts.

TickInTime

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Re: Wash the salt off my car?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2013, 10:46:23 AM »
I think your grandpa may be right, but that car really should have been waxed all along to give it a protective layer against all the environemental baddies that want to eat your paint off.

Wax should be the hard shell karate kid "Wax on. Wax off" style..not this quick wax crap they sell.

MPAVictoria

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Re: Wash the salt off my car?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2013, 10:51:46 AM »
Salt only starts to chemically react with the metal of your car when temperatures start approaching 0 degrees Celsius (30F?). As long as it is colder than that out you don't have to worry about it. Just wash your car as soon as it starts to get warmer.

Also wax your car every spring and fall with a good quality car wax to help protect the paint. If you do those things you should be fine.

Spork

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Re: Wash the salt off my car?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2013, 10:55:38 AM »
You're also going to want to focus on the wheel wells and undercarriage.  That's where there is likely to be issues.  Yes, there is often some amount of protective coatings under there.... but it does get chips in it and there are generally some parts that are exposed.

I live in the south where this isn't much of an issue...  but some of the car washes around here have an area that rinses the under carriage when you enter.  I would think this would be what is desired.

anastrophe

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Re: Wash the salt off my car?
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2013, 11:00:24 AM »
Finally, the other circumstance is that I'll be heading out to NV in a couple of weeks so maybe I should just clean it up once I'm out of the land of road salts.

Just wait until you leave. I agree you should wash it, but two weeks is not very long. I don't know anyone who washes their car in the winter, and sure, the body doesn't last so long but it's not going to fall apart in two weeks.

It seems like my car would get just as much salt the next time I drove somewhere.

Also, this.

Emg03063

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Re: Wash the salt off my car?
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2013, 10:23:56 PM »
Wash the undercarriage in the early spring.

wtjbatman

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Re: Wash the salt off my car?
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2013, 03:57:02 AM »
Wash the undercarriage in the early spring.

No, wash it in two weeks when you're in NV. Go through a car wash that features "undercarriage wash", and you'll be fine. I've been driving my car in fun Minnesota winters for 9 years and I just finally started getting rust on the exhaust.

BlueMR2

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Re: Wash the salt off my car?
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2013, 04:10:38 PM »
No, wash it in two weeks when you're in NV. Go through a car wash that features "undercarriage wash", and you'll be fine. I've been driving my car in fun Minnesota winters for 9 years and I just finally started getting rust on the exhaust.

Kind of funny how things work sometimes:

My '91 is still on the original exhaust system.  I've had to have significant rust repairs (sections cut out/new welded in) done to the bottom of the car 3 times already though.  My '95 is on it's 3rd exhaust system, have not had to do any other rust repairs of note (a little cleanup/repaint is about it).

kimmarg

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Re: Wash the salt off my car?
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2013, 06:36:17 PM »
Wash the undercarriage in the early spring.

No, wash it in two weeks when you're in NV. Go through a car wash that features "undercarriage wash", and you'll be fine. I've been driving my car in fun Minnesota winters for 9 years and I just finally started getting rust on the exhaust.

Yea, It makes absolutely no difference for the paint. And I say that as someone who lives full time in northern New England. Where it does make a difference is the undercarriage. I try to go to one of the car washes with the undercarriage stuff a few times a winter. Yes, it just gets gummed up again, but at least try occasionally, it can get stuff out of the crevices. Otherwise you spend $600 replacing your gas tank when it rusts out like ours did. Always bugs me that you have to pay for the most expensive wash for the undercarriage. I could give a *&^% what the top part looks like! I'd pay for triple under carriage and no top wash/wax! Oh, and you're not going to find anyone around here who would let you do it at home - we all turned off our exterior water months ago!