The weather outside is getting frightful, temperatures are dropping, and when things get snowy and icy, Seattle’s transportation professionals spread granular salt and salt brine on the roads to reduce the risk of cars slipping and sliding. The salt is not good for your car and should be washed off ASAP.
Here are five reasons to wash your Subaru this winter even when you don’t feel like it.
#1 Washing prevents rust
Salt leads to rust which can spread like a rash all over your car. Once it starts, it can be hard to stop. Rust weakens the integrity of your vehicle by eating away at the auto body, frame, exhaust system, brake components and gas lines. Frame rust is particularly bad because chunks of your car can break off. You don’t want that. After your car is exposed to rust, you should rinse it off including the underbody.
#2 Washing protects wax
As a first step to winter-proofing your vehicle, consider getting a good wax job. This will put an additional protective layer between the finish of your car and ice, sand, and salt during the winter months. Wash often to keep the wax in good shape and don’t use dishwashing detergent if you hand-wash your Subaru at home. This can eat away at the wax and diminish the protection it gives your vehicle.
#3 Washing helps performance
You might not think washing your car will help it drive better but consider this. Road salt and sand can get up under your Subaru and into the suspension. These particles vibrate when the engine is on and that can transfer to your suspension and steering to make for a rougher ride. When you wash your car, be sure to hose off underneath, in wheel wells, and all the nooks and crannies you might otherwise ignore.
#4 Washing shields tires
Road salt can gather in the porous rubber of your tires and salt brine can soak into the tire. Washing can get these out.
This is important because the salt can cause cracking, dry rot, and other complications that lead to early wear and tear of your tires.
Tires are costly and if you can protect them with a quick wash, why not? Wash the tires then pull forward to rotate so you get all sides clear of salt.
#5 Washing saves money
Salt causes corrosion and that eats away at your tires and the vehicle itself. That means replacing tires and ultimately, replacing your Subaru years earlier than you should have to if the road salt corrodes your frame. It can feel like a hassle to wash your car in the winter, but the time and effort now can save you big bucks down the road when your car and tires aren’t eaten up by road salt and salt brine.
Some tips for winter washing your Subaru:
- Wash at least once every 10 days
- Wash when temps are above freezing (40 degrees or higher)
- Add baking soda to home wash solutions to help break up salt
- Wash under door handles and in grooves and crevices
- Pay close attention to underneath your Subaru
- Dry thoroughly after you wash including nooks and crannies
- Replace cloth floor mats with rubber mats for winter
Even if Seattle isn’t snowy, if you head up into the mountains during ski season, you’re driving on salted roads so when you head home after a long day on the slopes, don’t neglect your Subaru. At a minimum, break out the garden hose and give it a quick rinse, but a wash is better.
To make sure your vehicle is winterproofed and ready for chillier weather, come see the Subaru experts at Suburb Service. We’re the oldest independent Subaru service center in the Pacific Northwest and have been focused solely on Subaru for more than 25 years.
Click here to schedule an appointment at Suburb Service or call (206) 364-8089 to reach out Seattle location or (360) 659-6208 for Marysville. Come let us give your Subaru some love!