Let's be honest here, the weather in the Hudson Valley has been pretty awful lately.  Some snowstorms mixed with a bunch of freezing cold days, an ice storm thrown in for fun, it's been pretty ugly outside lately.

Something else that's been pretty ugly lately?  Our poor cars, right?  No matter what color your car is supposed to be, everyone seems to be rocking that freshly salted grey-ish muck color as a top coat on their rides.  Gross.

So, when are we supposed to wash our cars in winter?

My car is blue, at least that's what I remember picking out when I purchased it a few years back, but lately it's like a camouflage combo of light and dark shades of blue, with some white spots and that grey hue.  I actually didn't even recognize the car when I came out of the grocery store the other day it's so dirty, I had to check the license plate (which you could barely read).  I decided to swing by on my way home from the store and didn't see a huge line at the car wash, score, and was actually told by an attendant that it wasn't a good idea to wash it today, due to the forecasted overnight cold temps.

Ok, got it - so when?!

The next day was going to be warmer, but calling for snow, so I didn't want to waste my time and money washing the car for it to get dirty driving after a snowstorm.

I did a little market research, and by that I mean I googled while I was laying in bed, and came across some tips that might be useful for all of us.

  • Tip 1:  Before winter - give your car a little extra love at the car wash before winter, get it cleaned, waxed and detailed with extra protection BEFORE the winter weather hits.  According to cars.com any car detailing procedure under 60 degrees is going to be more difficult, especially to get a wax or polish to cure properly. (oops, missed the boat there, better luck next year)
  • Tip 2:  Yourmechanic.com recommends washing your car often in winter, like every other week, but says you need to pay attention to the temps.  Pick a day with moderate temperatures (high 30s/low 40s) to make sure that things don't freeze after the car wash.  If it is colder than expected as you plan your trip to the car wash, drive your car around a bit before to warm the hood, turn the heater on to warm up the inside, this helps keeping things from freezing.
  • Tip 3:  A number of sources, including familyhandyman.com say that when going to the car wash (or doing it at home if you can swing that during winter months), to pay special attention to the undercarriage of your car.  Salt and grime have a tendency to build up under there so it's important to keep that in mind and consider paying a few bucks extra to have the undercarriage treated.

Moral of the story, warmer days are best, every other week is ideal, warm up the car ahead of time to reduce the chances of things freezing, and pay attention to the undercarriage....got it.

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