A Guide to Washing and Waxing Your Car Before Winter Hits

Before the weather turns too cold to wash your car, make sure to set aside time to remove the dirt and grime from the last few months and get the exterior ready for harsher weather.

Follow these tips to get the most out of your wash and wax job:
  1. Pick a shady spot. If you use hard water to wash your car -- and most people do -- it will leave a spotty finish on the car’s paint job as it evaporates in the sun. If your car is protected by shade, the water won’t evaporate as quickly and you’ll be able to properly buff the finish.
  2. Have enough towels on hand. Microfiber is the best, as it’s gentle on the car’s finish. A chamois or cotton rag can potentially damage the finish, scratching the paint or creating ruts.
  3. Care for the car’s paint. You can do this by following a four-step process.
  • First, wash the car to remove dirt and contaminants. Make sure to use a product designed for washing the car; it should have the proper pH balance and a formula manufactured to get rid of dirt without removing wax.
  • Next, look for stains like pollen or bird droppings that have bonded to the surface. The sun’s rays and contaminated rain can lead to oxidation. Purchase a clay bar that will act as a mild abrasive and essentially “shave” off the layers of gunk.
  • Then, polish the car to make the finish gleam. Car polishes basically restore the paint’s natural oils, which is what makes the surface shiny and reflective.
  • Finally, apply the wax. Carnauba-based wax won’t last as long as a synthetic product, but both waxes work well. In general, longer-lasting waxes will take longer to apply and last long, while easier-to- apply waxes may only provide protection for a few weeks.

Use this guide to washing and waxing your car, one last time, before winter hits. For more car care tips or for help purchasing a vehicle that’s safe for winter, contact Park Auto Group today!
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