While washing your car is important throughout the year, it is especially crucial during winter. The winter months bring Greenville drivers the potential for snowy and icy roadways. To combat the hazards of slippery streets, many municipalities lay salt on the roads before a heavy snowfall. Yet while salt is effective at clearing roadways, it can cause significant damage to vehicles.

Benson Alfa Romeo is South Carolina's local dealer of foreign luxury vehicles. We are proud to bring the finest in Italian design and innovation to our customers. And for those who prefer something more from their vehicles, Alfa Romeo's Quadrifoglio lineup is one of the world's top performance brands. Contact us for details.


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Benson Alfa Romeo

500a W Wade Hampton Blvd
Directions Greer, SC 29650

  • Sales: 888-380-1716
  • Service: 888-473-2689
  • Parts: 888-452-2592

Why is Winter Car Care so Important?

Road salt is dangerous because it corrodes metal vehicle parts. If not removed, salt can easily eat through the structural foundation of a vehicle. Rusty metal is more than just unsightly, it is a safety hazard. Parts can break or fall off, posing a threat to both the driver and other motorists.

Winter is not the only time when customers need to wash their cars. Bird droppings, tree sap and dead insects all contain acidic compounds which can damage a vehicle. These hazards are present throughout the year. But winter salt is especially dangerous because of its ubiquity and high concentrations. If possible, customers should wash their vehicles more frequently in the winter.

A typical year-round car wash schedule involves washing the vehicle roughly once every two or three weeks. In winter, the ideal interval between washes is significantly shorter. Once every ten days is a good starting point, but this can be once every five to seven days for drivers in very snowy areas.

Though winter is perhaps the most important time of year for car washing, it is also one of the most difficult. To avoid damage from freezing water, drivers should only wash their cars when temperatures are warmer than 40 degrees. If the weather is uncooperative, drivers should keep their vehicles warm by driving them before washing and keeping the heater on during the wash.

Winter Car Wash Tips

Early preparation is key to lasting vehicle health. The best washing regimen is part of an annual care schedule that includes regular waxing and detailing. Before winter weather hits, drivers should also ensure that their vehicle is using weather-appropriate fluids and tires.

One often-overlooked step in combatting corrosion is to replace carpet floor mats with rubber. Slush and residue from winter boots can soak through carpet and corrode the vehicle's undercarriage from above. Rubber floor mats, however, catch the melting slush before it can damage the vehicle.

To properly wash your car in the winter, start by applying soap to the vehicle from top to bottom. Once this is completed, rinse the vehicle with a hose or power washer. Wipe and brush the tires, then re-rinse the vehicle. After rinsing, wipe off residual water with a cloth.

Ensure you hit as many crevasses as possible. Salt likes to collect in gaps between metal pieces, on the underside of the vehicle, and around the tires. The underside is especially important to clean. To properly cover this area, spray the bottom of the car with a stream of water from a hose nozzle or power washer.

Some people prefer to wash their vehicle at home, while others prefer a commercial car wash. Both options have benefits and downsides. However, drivers should avoid drive-through automatic car washes with large spinning brushes. These brushes, if not maintained properly, can damage your vehicle's paint. Other broken components may do additional harm.

If you do wash your vehicle yourself, use soap specifically formulated for use on vehicles. If this is not available, use a mild biodegradable kind. Do not use dish soap, as it is specially formulated to remove grease. This can include the protective layer of wax on your vehicle. 

Keep Your Car Safe This Winter With A Proper Wash Plan

Washing your car in the winter may seem strange at first. After all, car washes are traditionally a fair-weather summer endeavor. However, washing your car is actually a key part of year-round maintenance, as many substances in the environment can damage key components. And winter conditions make it especially important to wash your car in colder months. Fortunately, drivers can preserve the longevity or resale value of their vehicle by following a few simple steps. Washing a car does not need to be costly or expensive, but it should be done on a regular basis.

Benson Alfa Romeo offers a broad suite of new, used and certified pre-owned vehicles for customers across the Carolinas. Our finance and service centers can help drivers afford and maintain their next great car or SUV. Visit us at 500a West Wade Hampton Blvd. or call us at (864) 372-9144 to learn more or to schedule a test drive.

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