725 S Garfield Ave
Traverse City Mi 49686
Garfield Auto Service Center
725 S Garfield Ave
Traverse City Mi 49686
Ph. 231.929.3862
Fax 231.932.7511
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Fight Rust: Washing Your Car In Winter

December 3, 2019, 12:00 am

Taking care of your vehicle in the depths of winter can be tough. Cold, ice, salt, and sand on the roads mean even the most responsible car owners come home with streaks, spots, and the seedlings of body rust. If you’re hoping to take better care of your car this winter, we’ve got a few tips on when to wash and what else you can do. 

We’ve broken down our tips to cover the inside and outside of your car. Salt can do a lot of damage to the inside of your vehicle, rusting it from the inside out! 


Wash Often...Or When The Weather Cooperates. Most manufacturers say that washing your car every ten to fourteen days is the best way to battle rust caused by road salt. If that doesn’t always work out, try to wash when conditions are at their best. Winter weather can be tough to work around, but try to scrub down on warmer days, ideally above 40 degrees. Wash early in the morning when there’s a bit of sun out to make sure your car dries quickly to avoid frozen water in the nooks and crannies. These conditions also help with clear, dry roads, so that you’re not getting your car dirty again right away. 

Visiting a car wash that lets you do the work is great in winter. These self-serve locations let you focus your efforts on the undercarriage, wheel wells, and other areas of your car that get blasted with salt and sand. These spots are often the first to rust, too, so it’s worth getting out of the car and keeping an eye on things. 

If you can, wax and polish the exterior once everything is dried out. Put a little extra focus on the areas that get the most exposure to rust like bumpers, fenders, spoilers, handles, and latches, and even your license plate!  


The constant freeze and thaw, snowy and salty shoes, and heavy use mean that the inside of your car suffers winter as much as the exterior body. To keep your floors and seats looking clean, there are a few things you can do. First, opt for plastic or rubber floor mats as much as possible. Cloth absorbs water and salt, and if it’s sitting on or touching anything metal, it can quickly start to cause rust. Fabric can also smell, so investing in model-specific mats for your car is always worth it. 

Especially in winter, make sure you’re sticking with your regularly scheduled maintenance at Garfield Auto Service Center! Got questions? Call us anytime for help in keeping your vehicle running great. 

Posted by Garfield Auto at 12:00 am
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