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Old 12-22-2008, 02:37 AM   #1
Huamaru
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Default Too Cold to Wash a Car?

Is it ever too cold to wash your car? I'm talking about when it would actually be more harm to your car to wash it than it would help it because of the freezing temperatures?
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Old 12-22-2008, 02:40 AM   #2
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Probably if the water was freezing on your car
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Old 12-22-2008, 02:40 AM   #3
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It depends where you wash it . . how you wash it . . . how you store it
and what exactly is on your car to begin with .

If you are covered in salt and ice . . I would wash it no matter what (under body included)
just be sure to dry your car off if you plan on storing it outside
although generally you don't need to be overly concerned about salt until the weather begins to warm up and "melt" begins as this is when the salt will begin to eat away at a more alarming rate

Ps. .
I washed off my fenders today and by the time I got back to the foist wheel it was already frozen solid
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Old 12-22-2008, 02:57 AM   #4
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washed my car the other day at a touchless drive thru when it was -20 air temp the **** froze instantly. I pulled it into my garage to dry out and it still made my door handles stick/freeze. I like washing my car when its cold cause its doesn't get dirty afterwards.
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Old 12-22-2008, 07:10 AM   #5
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I live in an apartment, so my car is outside alll the time. I keep an eye on the weather reports, and wash it in the morning of a warm sunny day. I make sure my car is warmed up before washing, go for a short drive after, and then park it in the sun.

Also, be careful when pulling out of the car wash for ice on the pavement and on your brakes.

PS. I only use the spray and wash places, never a drive through.

Last edited by knockknockknock; 12-22-2008 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:27 AM   #6
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I used to risk frostbite and use warm water in a bucket and the hose in winter, but I've been warming up to the car wash close by to me lately. You get 12min. to wash it yourself and if you do all the "steps," it does a pretty good job. The only thing is that you need to bring your squeegy(sp) and shammois(sp) to dry it, seeing as air drying not only sucks in the first place, it realllly doesn't work in sub freezing temps
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:41 AM   #7
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If it's going to be really cold for a stretch (does it really get cold in Tennessee?) then leaving the car alone will probably be better because the salt that's all over, under your car is frozen in place and has no catalyst (liquid water) to start rusting. If you do wash, any salt water that doesn't get washed off the car can start to eat your car.

Also consider what's on the road. In my town, we got 2 feet of snow over the weekend, so there's going to be salt on the roads for a good while. It's really not worth it to wash the car now as it's going to look the same in about 10 minutes of driving again.

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Old 12-22-2008, 10:03 AM   #8
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Its too cold when the water is frozen before it hits your car.
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Old 12-22-2008, 12:32 PM   #9
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I usually go the whole winter without washing the car cause there's always dirt or salt on the roads.
Once the temperatures are reliably above 40-45 I'll wash it off. My car is always outside and pretty much subject to freezing temperatures all winter long.
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Old 12-22-2008, 12:35 PM   #10
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I try to go to an automated touchless car wash once every week or two during the winter. I wash my cars once a week however by hand, but I have a whole heated shop in which to do it, so i can let it dry so my doors don't freeze.
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Old 12-22-2008, 01:14 PM   #11
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i washed mine in 30deg wheather then pulled in my garage and the next morning i put my Ebrake down and it was frozen!
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Old 12-22-2008, 01:39 PM   #12
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i tried a car wash. it was well worth it. i was afraid too that it may be too cold, BUT the car wash actually used really warm water (hot enough for me to feel the temp of it through the window by touch). the step light read (hot wax)...EVERYTHING (dirt/salt/grime) came off the car...so it depends where you go i guess...if they use hot water...you win! oh and if it dries you inside the wash...

i went to a basic gas station wash...it's simply a garage with a car wash system. washes/waxes/dries with all inside the closed garage. all for 7 bucks!
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Old 12-22-2008, 02:02 PM   #13
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There's an awesome touchless car wash by me. It doesn't use those big noodle things and just jets hot water on the car, then triple foam stuff and double bond wax and all the goodies, then 2 industrial pivoting dryers at the end. The car was totally dry when I exited the garage. My only complaint is my trunk (not wing just the trunk) is cloudy for some reason from the cold, I might have to hit it with some quick detailer.
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:19 PM   #14
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dude u live in TENNESEEE .. you can wash ur car any time you want.
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:31 PM   #15
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Hello,
"Too Cold to Wash a Car? ?"

Nah... I just washed mine today at 7 PM with a temperature of 15 degrees. I was the only one there. People driving by must think Im crazy. I was even going to vacuum too but my woman said no.
I try to keep the washing consistant during the winter time because Im afraid the salt on the road would corrode my baby.
Its cold but worth it in the end.
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:37 PM   #16
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if you have a garage you can take a bucket of warm water and start to hand wash it with a microfiber towel. thats what i did today so you dont have to worry about the salt eating away at your car if you miss the salt underneath you car
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Old 12-23-2008, 01:22 AM   #17
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Well I think its going to warm back up to around 60 degrees soon so I'll just wash it then before the water is cold enough to freeze my hands.
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Old 12-23-2008, 02:24 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huamaru View Post
Well I think its going to warm back up to around 60 degrees soon so I'll just wash it then before the water is cold enough to freeze my hands.
Lucky!

Our highs this week are in the low 20s.
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Old 12-23-2008, 02:32 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huamaru View Post
Well I think its going to warm back up to around 60 degrees soon so I'll just wash it then before the water is cold enough to freeze my hands.
60 and you are actually asking about it being too cold to wash your car ?
That was about our summer high this year . . as we are currently in a cold spell of around 10-15
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Old 12-23-2008, 04:03 AM   #20
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it's been 0F with a windchill of -20F for the past two days here in northern indiana. i won't be seeing 60s until april next year.
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:00 AM   #21
tfields04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotsauce61488 View Post
dude u live in TENNESEEE .. you can wash ur car any time you want.
+1 I used to live in Alabama. It's not fun washing it in winter, but I used to do it.
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:06 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poetic--playa View Post
i tried a car wash. it was well worth it. i was afraid too that it may be too cold, BUT the car wash actually used really warm water (hot enough for me to feel the temp of it through the window by touch). the step light read (hot wax)...
I have a few touchless car washes near my place that I sometimes use. I guses my concern when it is really cold out (in the teens, like it is today), I am concerned about the carwash spraying really hot water on the glass. I hope that cracks don't form because of thermal expansion/contraction!
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Old 12-23-2008, 04:23 PM   #23
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I have an auto wash at the dealer so i go whenever i want after work. No problems really just let it dry off or wipe it down.

Free washes FTW
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Old 12-23-2008, 04:31 PM   #24
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I'll usually wash my car at the dealership afterwork, then drive home so it doesn't freeze lol. I like to wash my car when its colder then 30F. that way its stays cleaner longer.
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