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Washing in extreme cold weather

Posted by Don M 
Washing in extreme cold weather
January 07, 2002 06:54AM
I was thinking about this on the way home today. We all know that water will go anywhere it can, which means it will seep into the tiniest cracks & crevices in your car. Too, when water freezes, it expands.

If you wash your car in extreme cold, the hot wash water will seep into small areas of the car's body, and can become trapped there. When you are done washing, the water that is hidden in these areas will freeze and expand.

If this water is in a seam when it freezes, it could very easily widen the seam & crack the paint or other coating covering that area, and expose bare metal. Then the next time you drive on salted roads, the salt water splash can get into the area that was damaged by the expanding water, and now you have hidden rust that will eventually eat it's way to the surface.

I think that rather than risking this, I will continue to use the WD-40 to fill those areas, and keep the water out.

Don M
'02 Cavalier LSSC
2200 DOHC
No one wants to debate this???
January 07, 2002 02:27PM
Just curious, everyone had an opinion about salt.

Don M
'02 Cavalier LSSC
2200 DOHC
First, so there are no more misunderstandings, I agree with your use on the WD40. I live not all that far from the Windy City of Chicago and there's an old saying that if you don't like the weather here, wait a few minutes and it will change. This holds especially true in the winter so let me pose this senario to you. You go to work and your car is parked outside and it's raining. 15 minutes later it is sleeting and a half hour later it's snowing. By the time you get off work it is freezing cold and everything is frozen solid. The conditions you have described have happened thru no fault of your own. It's the price we pay for living where we live. It happens a lot here.

I have a 1992 Explorer that is my every-day-beater that gets me to work. I use the WD 40 and try to get as much wax as possible on it before the snow flies. Yes I wash it in the winter at a do-it-yourself car wash and try to keep the water out of the danger areas as much as possible and give them an added squirt of WD 40 in these areas after washing. I also try to watch the weather and wash on sunny days early in the morning so the sun will help dry out the areas that I get water that I don't want.If I can catch a couple of days where the weather cooperates, I hand wash and dry. I guess it's a matter of personal preference. Not trying to say that I'm right and your wrong, just more food for thought. Gary

P.S. I'm a huge Chicago Bears fan also.
I perfer to use it with my pepper on my buttered lobster. Sorry Don, couldn't resist the temptation. Good to see you back on the new board. The NeonRdrunner still lives on. Take care!
Re: No one wants to debate this???
January 08, 2002 03:42AM

No question the salt is a killer. As you know Iim up here in Canada where they really know how to put on a winter. Temps in my are will range from 100F in summer to week long bouts of -40 F and colder. To date the salt has yet to pose any problems as it regularily is removed during weekly high pressure washes. We also get a bit of a break during excesive cold weather as the City cuts back on salt as it gets too cold to work.

My daily driver gets a regular bath at the local do it yourself " AUTO SPA" once a week that is followed by a minimum 2 hr detailing ritual. Your comments on the freeze thaw cycle was interesting food for thought. In my weekly washing I have not taken any extra care to date and am happy to say that after my units exposure to 2 of our canadian winters there is there has yet to be any form of paint cracking or ice related damages that I can detectl. On the trip home and withing a minute or so of leaving the car wash the unit regularily ices up real good too, however I must confess.... I do own a heated garage at home....trust me you need it here if you want to do any sort of detailing work or even vacuum in our winters.

Re: No one wants to debate this???
January 08, 2002 03:47AM
Like I said, stick to the car cleaning, not with the jokes!LOL
Re: No one wants to debate this???
January 08, 2002 06:53AM
Yeah, I'm back, new car and all. I neede a break after I got into it with that troll a/h on the old board, but I still kept this site in my favorites.

The only thing that sucks about my new car is that:

1) it's only 28 days old, WAY too new to polish/wax




Don M
'02 Cavalier LSSC
2200 DOHC
Hey Gary
January 08, 2002 12:59PM
Why appologise beforehand when all you did was post that you agree with the whole WD-40 bit, and just added your own extra step to the process?

Let the snowball fights begin.

Don M
'02 Cavalier LSSC
2200 DOHC
Re: Hey Gary
January 08, 2002 03:19PM
Winter Washing

1. Go to the do-it-yourself and wash
2. Go home, park the vehical in the garage
3. Turn on the heater in the garage
4. Look and see how dirty you vehical got on the way home
5. Wash your car again in your heated garage
6. Open all the doors and hood, leave the heater on
7. Polish and Wax

Now you can cry when you have to drive out into the salt!

Just got back from Phoenix were my Explorer was looking like new. Why did I come back???
I know what I said, but......
January 08, 2002 04:02PM

I broke down and went to the self serve wash, froze my hands and spent a small fortune hosing off my Corvette yellow Z-24.

Looking at all the salt & dirt and other (*%^&^ on my car was driving me nuts, so I gave in, let the voices in my head take over and washed the car.

(but at least I'll go to the loony bin in a clean car ;-)

Don M
'02 Cavalier LSSC
2200 DOHC
I took so long cause my server has been down all week, just got back up last night. Can't hand wash at the do-it-yourselfers cause the run you off and I don't use the brushes there either. Can't use the heated garage either cause I have it full. Got a break today, however cause it's almost 60 degrees here and I'm dragging my hose out of the basement in a little bit. If you hear a wax can lid popping, it'll be me.

Don, not to worry. As long as you don't start answering those voices, you're OK. Nothing wrong with hating to be in a dirty ride. If you need some wd40 let me know, I have extra. Gary.
Re: I know what I said, but......
January 10, 2002 04:58PM
damn, i feel for you guys! we got a foot of snow last wed. and it was a mess. they salted and sanded heavily. oh well, i just put on some shorts and am going out to wash my car-it is 60 degrees outside!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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