With this winter how often should we wash?

With how much snow we have seen this winter and thus tons of road salt and such, on average how often should we get a basic wash of our car to get that gunk off?

1. Every week

2. every other week

3. once a month

4. Wash it? It don’t need no stinking washing till spring.

Every week or so is sufficient.

BTW, it doesn’t really matter how much salt is on the road. The salt is there, whether it’s 2mm thick or 3 inches thick, and therefore is going to get splashed up on your car with the meltwater. A little or a lot, if it finds bare metal it’s going to start the rust process. I consider streets salt-contaminated from the day before the first snow/ice storm (when they’re laying down the pre-storm mix) until the spring street cleaning.

When it gets to the point where you can’t see clearly out of the windows, it’s time for a wash.


Once a week is fine. But no sense in washing if a storm is pending.

If the salt accumulates too much, it can retain moisture and the pproblem becomes worse. You’re smart to be considering this.

I take mine to a hand-wash whenever it gets filthy and spray it off. I use soap, but no brush. It works great.

These past days it’s been too cold where I live. It was 11F late this morning, got down to below zero last night.

If you are talking about washing a '98 Taurus with a blown head gasket, #4.

Any old car with an intact head gasket, #3

A new '11 anything, #1 this winter, #2 next winter, and #3 thereafter.

I wash mine when the cost of doing it (Including the inconvenience to me) is less offensive than the cost of the wash.

Right now I still have two prepaid car washes my wife gave me for Christmas.

I’ve been running them through the car on Fridays and stays clean for the weekend but then gets full of salt again by Wednesday. I’d go weekly unless it is really sloppy out.

"When it gets to the point where you can’t see clearly out of the windows, it’s time for a wash.
At least for the windows.

I washed my daily driver today for the first time in weeks. It was almost warm enough at 48?F, but it was just too ugly to wait.

I’d say after anytime you have to drive it when it’s wet and salty out and it’s going to be clear again for a few days.

IMHO it’s important to get the salt off, including especially areas like the wheel wells and underbody. Salt water will creep into gaps and slowly corrode any bare metal it finds, as well as any improperly protected electrical connectors. So it’s important to get it off your car as soon as it’s reasonable that it won’t be a wasted effort.

I run the truck through the car wash when the doors and the body are covered with brown stuff. The temperature has to be at least in the high 20s F. I park in a garage where it won’t freeze up unless the temperature is in the single digits.

I have a different view on washing cars.

I used to be obsessive about taking care of my cars - washing and waxing them all the time. I did this for years - until marriage and a new baby changed it. My wife noticed she was spending all the time taking care of our new daughter while I was taking care of the cars.

She voiced her concern, and I’m sure many of you can imagine how that discussion went. I ended up stopping all washing and waxing of cars, so I could spend more time with our daughter. At first I thought my wife “won” that disagreement. As the years went on, I realized I was fortunate to have “won” as well.

Now I wash cars about once every 2-3 years. It’s not the right approach for everyone, but it works for me.

#4 especially if the vehicle is older. However if you are rubbing the car and getting salt all over instant trip to car wash on a warmer/sunny day so it drys out.

It typically rains enough where I live (coastal NH) so the car stays clean if it is waxed pre and post winter.

Nope, traded that in for a 2002 Kia Sedona which has a small rust issue on the under part of the hood, but overall in good shape at 138,000 miles…