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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > Winter washing yay or nay



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      12-26-2012, 11:55 AM   #1
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Winter washing yay or nay

Hi,

I have a very simple question: is it a good idea to wash your car in the winter months or not?

Personally, I'm a bit skeptical. If your car is covered in salt, and you wash it all off, then the next day you drive in salt again, it will become covered again, etc. but each time on fresh, clean paint. As such, I think washing in the winter is not a good idea at all? Anybody agree/disagree?

I'm not asking about how I should wash the car, but rather if it's better to wash it or just leave it dirty.

Thanks.
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      12-26-2012, 01:51 PM   #2
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wash it. Leaving the salt on the paint over long periods of time is not good.
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      12-26-2012, 01:59 PM   #3
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Do you wash yourself in the winter? If yes try taking care of your car too. Salt will eat through you car eventually.
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      12-26-2012, 02:17 PM   #4
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In the winter I wash them once a week at the BMW carwash , wax them once a month,then do a complete clean-up/scratch removal when the weather breaks. I get to drive a semi-clean car all winter and it doesn't get too bad overall this way.
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      12-26-2012, 02:20 PM   #5
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Easy fix

Buy a e30 325ix for a winter beater like me

No salt on your 335i
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      12-26-2012, 02:51 PM   #6
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once every 2 weeks is fine. no need to waste your money
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      12-26-2012, 02:52 PM   #7
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I do mine once a week without the snow. I do it every few days in the winter
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      12-27-2012, 10:46 AM   #8
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When it gets above freezing I usually go to a coin op and spray it off. You can drive yourself nuts trying to keep it clean in the winter.
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      01-01-2013, 04:53 PM   #9
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Give it a good wash and wax before winter hits and then wash once a week during the winter.
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      01-01-2013, 10:16 PM   #10
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I bring my car to those self wash bays. First I wash rinse. rinse, then dry off with a waffleweave towel. Nice, and clean.
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      01-02-2013, 02:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihsanshaik View Post
Do you wash yourself in the winter? If yes try taking care of your car too. Salt will eat through you car eventually.
I'm sorry, but this analogy does not work.

Let me put it this way:

Take 2 metal screws, place them in a beaker with saline solution.
Take screw 1 out of beaker and wash it with water every day, then clean the rust off with a towel/scotchbrite pad, whatever.
Leave screw 2 in the saline solution.

Which one do you think will rust faster? My bet is on screw 1.

Effectively, by washing every week, you are doing the same thing as above with screw 1. Every time you wash your car in the winter, you are exposing fresh paint/metal to salt and the elements. However, if you don't wash, then there is no fresh paint/metal, so it stays rusted just a little.
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      01-02-2013, 03:18 AM   #12
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Salt damages paint over time. You don't fear rust, but salt.

By washing, you move the salt spots, so that your entire paint sustain minor damage, instead of having one or two spots that receive heavy damage (and get very visible).
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      01-02-2013, 01:56 PM   #13
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For the washing, I bring it to an indoor hand wash place most of the time. It gets sprayed, washed, and dried. Then it goes back into my home car shelter or garage.

Even better than that if I take the car to work. My building garage has a car wash service. It is washed, dried, and brought back to my parking spot, where it continues to dry off, so no frozen car locks and windows etc..

If I washed it myself, or at automatic car wash, sometimes I go to my work heated parking garage and let it sit there to dry in the heat, or I dry it myself and I'm not freezing my butt off outside. Plus I can leave all the doors open and walk all around the car, since no one is there on the weekend or after work.


My biggest comentary on winter washing is, if it is cold out when you wash a car, or it gets cold over night or the next day, the rubber seals on the doors and trunk may freeze up and prevent you from opening them. After the wash, make sure to dry those rubber seals. When you get home, dry them again. You can help the situation by applying a thin film of silicon spray, or paste before the wash. You can reapply again before washes or when the doors feel like they are starting to stick. For me it lasts a while.

This might not be a problem for you if you don't live where it is always below freezing in winter. For me it's a problem.
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      01-02-2013, 06:52 PM   #14
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I would definitely rinse it off a little at one of those self-serve car washes. I do so about 2 times a week
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      01-12-2013, 03:53 PM   #15
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I agree with the above comment about salt doing damage and it's generally better to wash. However using the incorrect technique can cause a lot of damage to your paint. The more direct contact you have with the paint the more potential damage you can do.

Firstly you should give the car a good detail and wax before the winter starts to give the paint some protection.

I then use a snow foam lance and rinse to get rid of the major contaminants. Then a good quality car wash shampoo. I use the two buckets method and a microfiber or lambs wool wash hit. Then you wash off the suds and lastly dry. The best method is compressed air, but if you don't have access to this then a good quality drying towel and then chamois leather.

The longer you leave the dirt on the harder it is to remove. It is also best to allow yourself time. If you rush it you miss bits

J
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