Cars are exposed to all kinds of weather conditions and elements at all times of the year. While in winter the road salt and sleet leave behind a film of dirt in the paint, wheels and plastic parts, in summer, UV radiation and insects are responsible for causing damage to the vehicle. The regular maintenance of the car allows it to shine again and also contributes to the car not losing value. In this sense there are some issues that are worth highlighting, so we would like to comment on this page. Whether it’s the annual cleaning in spring or a weekly wash, we’ll give you some tips for washing the car, as well as for cleaning the underbody and the engine.
Since in most cities and municipalities, it is not allowed to clean the car on the street, in general, the car wash is the only way to have the vehicle clean. In a car wash, the driver remains seated in the vehicle, while going through the car wash. Whether you choose a car wash, or do it yourself, close all windows and, if necessary, the sunroof, to avoid damage due to water ingress. If possible, the outside mirrors should be folded and the antenna removed. Convertible cars should avoid laundry. Instead, they should be washed by hand very carefully.
An integral wash in spring is recommended, which frees the car of all the waste and dirt of winter. This includes a first prewash in which dirt is removed from the rims and the wheel housing. After this comes the washing of the underside of the car, because the mud and salt of the road have been firmly adhering in these areas. Treat your car with a product that allows you to preserve the paint. A cleaning of the interior completes the spring cleaning.
In summer there is a danger that insects, resin and UV rays will damage the paint. Wash and remove these residues as quickly as possible, so that the paint is not damaged irreparably, nor appear stains. If possible, wait for a day that makes bad weather to go to the car wash. On a rainy day, the secretions of the trees on the car are soaked and therefore are easier to eliminate. By the way, the tunnels with cloths instead of brushes are softer and more respectful with your car. Although there are no risks of scratches, brushes can leave lines that look like scratches. In fact, this is another advantage of washing on days with bad weather: experience shows that brushes and cloths are cleaner in those days. And what is better,
If you have decided on a wax finish, you must remove the wax from the wiper rubber. After washing the exterior, the interior is the following. Over time, the inside of the windshield can build up a layer of dirt, which can make vision difficult, so you should clean the windshield regularly with a window cleaner, and then dry it.
Cleaning the engine
In addition to the normal car wash, it is advisable to carry out a cleaning of the engine from time to time. There are several reasons to do it:
- After an oil loss
- After winter
- After driving through the mud, etc.
- After damage caused by animals
If you detect the loss of oil or other liquids in your car, you should find out the cause. To do so it is necessary to clean the engine area in order to be able to locate the problem. You have to take into account some general recommendations when cleaning the engine. Do it only when the engine is cold, otherwise the engine block, which is hot, may come into contact with cold water and could cause considerable damage. In addition, electronic components, such as the control unit, must not come into contact with water, in order to avoid a possible short circuit.
Experienced drivers can clean an engine without help from anyone. All you need is an oil separator and a good cleaning agent. Uncover the alternator and, if necessary, the distributor cap. Next, spray the motor cleaner and let it work for a few minutes. With a brush you can eliminate waste, even in areas of difficult access. With a high-pressure cleaner (with the minimum pressure jet!), the dirt comes off. Although it should not be used in electronic components. Once this is done, allow the engine to dry thoroughly. You can find an oil separator in specialized car washes, although you should be aware that cleaning the engine in your own home or on the street is prohibited. Speaking of forbidden things,
If you want to opt for the safest option, leave the cleaning of the engine in the hands of a specialized professional. Otherwise, it could happen that the engine stops starting or that other problems arise. Another alternative (a little more expensive) is to clean it with dry ice, which avoids the damage caused by water. In addition, it is convenient to small investment in an engine sealant (without wax). This has no visual effect, but protects the motor from internal humidity.
Cleaning the underside of the car
When one goes to the washing train, the question arises as to which is the best option. Is a basic maintenance enough? Should the basses also be cleaned? As a general rule it is only necessary to clean the visible surfaces, once a month, or more frequently in winter, if necessary.
However, especially in the coldest times of the year, salt residues from the road accumulate in the underside of the car, and this can affect the materials. In this case, washing the underside of the car is especially necessary. However, this could also cause damage, so it is recommended that it be done manually.
In a car wash, the steam is sprayed against the car under high pressure. This could lead to moving mechanical or electronic parts, which could cause the car to stop starting. This must be avoided at all costs. Also, in winter, salt-containing water can cause corrosion. If a professional cleans the underside of the car, you can also check for defects, which is especially recommended with second-hand vehicles.
The most convenient time to wash the underside of the car is when it is raining, as the splashing water helps clean the car. Apart from that, it is more than sufficient to clean the bottom of the car carefully two or three times a year.