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Seasonal Guide to Car Washes

seasonal car wash guide

Tips on Keeping Your Car in Top Clean Position All Year Long

Your car works hard for you throughout the year, but its performance depends on how well you take care of it. In order to keep your car operating at its best, you need to adjust your maintenance from season to season. There are some big differences between driving your car around in the wintertime versus the summer months. Proper maintenance can help prepare your car for those seasonal transitions.


SUV at a car wash


In this article, we’ll share the tips and tricks you need to know that will keep your car at its best all year long. We’ll go over car washing, interior cleaning, tire protection, and more. You’ll walk away with a better understanding of the right way to care for your car, no matter the time of year.

Caring for Your Car in the Winter


Depending on where you live, winter can be incredibly rough on your car. If you live in a climate with snow, it’s important to protect your car from damage that can occur due to the salt that is spread on the roadways to melt ice and snow. If you aren’t careful the salt can destroy your car’s finish and create rust which can spread all around your car. Follow these precautionary tips to keep your car protected all winter long:


  • Wax your car’s exterior to protect the finish from corrosion.
  • Clean your tires before winter begins.
  • Avoid driving through deep puddles so water doesn’t damage your car.
  • Avoid driving immediately before or after a snowstorm, as there will likely be a fresh layer of salt on the roads.
  • Wash your car regularly.


Washing your car throughout the winter months will help to keep off the grime that will dirty your car and lead to damage. It is recommended that you get in the habit of cleaning your car before winter hits. Washing and cleaning your car regularly will protect it once the first bout of winter storms comes around. Also, it is recommended that you get in a waxing before temperatures drop.


Once the cold wintery weather comes, make it a habit to wash your car every two weeks or whenever the car looks worse for wear due to snow, ice, and salt. It’s worth it to pay a few extra dollars to have your car’s undercarriage sprayed as well. This is a crucial step.


car driving in snow car wash guide for winter


Jim Dvorak, head of public relations and technical support at Mothers car-care products, says that under your car is “a lot of vulnerability with heat shields, suspension components, and even the chassis.” And, while it’s not as vulnerable as the outside of your car, make sure to clean your vehicle’s interior during winter months as well.


While it’s important to keep your car clean during the winter, you’ll inevitably have to go out into the elements. Consider the following tips to protect your car when you’re driving on wintry roads:


  • Consider using winter tires for better traction on snow and ice. They’ll stop your car 48 percent faster and reduce side skidding in turns.
  • Switch to winter wiper blades that will prevent ice and snow from sticking to your windshield.
  • Keep a tool kit in your car in case of emergencies.
  • Have a bag of safety absorbent in your car to regain traction if you get stuck on ice.


Caring for Your Car in the Spring

Spring months aren’t typically as rough on your car as the wintertime is; however, the transition to warmer months presents a specific challenge — pollen. While it’s not dangerous, it can damage your car. The longer you let it sit on your car, the more likely it is to affect your car’s paint. It can also stick to your windshield, causing visibility issues. Plus, pollen can cause an allergic reaction for yourself or your passengers.


It’s best to clear pollen off as soon as you can. The most effective way to do this is simply to wash your car at your local professional car wash.


dirty car covered in tree pollen


Using a professional car wash guarantees a clean car and makes the washing process smooth and fun. You have the option to wash your car by hand in a self-serve bay or use an automatic car wash. Either way, the best way to wash your car is at your local car wash.


After your car has been washes and you have dried off your car, immediately apply a wax solution. While it won’t prevent a pollen build-up, it will help to protect your car from damage caused by pollen or any other environmental fallout.


But if you’re in the middle of a pollen storm you may want to skip this step as it might just rub the pollen into your car’s finish. In this case, just wash your car again in a few days for more effective pollen removal.


While it may be the main issue that car owners face in the springtime, pollen is not the only thing you need to protect your car against. Here are some other tips for optimal car performance in the springtime.


  • Inspect your windshield wipers — Cold winter temperatures and ice may have caused the blades to lose their effectiveness. If yours have dulled down, reach out to your local auto parts store. Many will change these parts for free.
  • Check your oil — Now that it’s getting warmer, take this opportunity to get an oil change. Warmer temperatures will take a toll on your oil. Go into summer with fresh motor oil.
  • Check if your engine needs more coolant — You’ll absolutely want coolant for those hot summer months. Check on that now while temperatures are still cooler.
  • Test your air conditioner — Finding out that your air conditioner is broken is the last thing you want in the blistering summer heat. Check that now before the peak of summer.
  • Check your tire pressure — Wide temperature variations are common in the wintertime. This can cause your tires to lose pressure more quickly than usual. Under-inflated tires won’t gripe the roads as well.
  • Check your tire tread — If wintry roads have worn down your tires, replace them before heavy spring rains start to hit your area.


Caring for Your Car in the Summer

Similar to driving in wintry months, your car can pick up various road grime when driving around on hot asphalt. Regularly washing your car will help your vehicle maintain its general quality, giving you a reliable ride for long road trips or to the beach.


Begin the process in mid-morning, evening, or on a cloudy day. Washing and drying your car in direct sunlight can cause water spots that may damage your paint job. Once you’ve picked the right time of the day head to your local car wash and pick the wash that fits your needs. Most professional car washes have a number of washes to choose from so you can get the features you want all within your budget. After your car is clean, be sure to dry with a microfiber towel to prevent water spots.


Bird migration increases in the summer, which increases the risk of bird droppings damaging your paint job. Get in the habit of heading to the car wash and washing your car regularly in the summer so your car doesn’t see any long-term damage.


dirty car with bird poop needs a car wash


Car washes recycle the water used to wash cars, so making car washes more environmentally friendly and energy efficient than home washing. Plus, a car wash gets at those hard to reach places, like the undercarriage, with ease.


Protecting the exterior of your car isn’t the only thing you should be doing during the summer. Warmer months are often synonymous with road trips — make sure your car is in great shape before you take it for a long drive. Check off every item from this list before you set off on a trip:


  • Check tires and tire pressure — A flat tire on the side of the highway is the last thing you want on a summer road trip. Check for cuts, gouges, or sidewall bulges. Check your tire treads by sticking a quarter upside down into the grooves of the treads. If you see the top of George Washington’s head, it’s time for new tires.
  • Listen to and feel the brakes — If you hear a grinding sound or feel a vibration when applying the brakes, take your car to an auto repair shop as soon as possible.
  • Check your car’s battery — Make sure your battery’s cable connections are clean and tight and that the hold-down hardware is secure. You can also have a mechanic do a battery check to determine the remaining capacity.
  • Check belts and hoses — These are the parts that power the engine water pump and accessories like the alternator and air conditioning. If any of them are cracked, glazed, or frayed, or you’ve gone 60,000 miles without replacing them, bring your car to your local auto shop.
  • Replenish your emergency kit supplies — If you’re going on a summer road trip, make sure you’re prepared for worst-case scenarios with supplies like a flashlight, batteries, a first-aid kit, and basic tools.


If your road trip involves some time at the beach, you should aim to take some preventative steps that will get as little sand in the interior of your car as possible. Cut open a large plastic bag before your trip and line your trunk with it so you can gather it up and throw it away after your trip.


Before reentering your car after going to the beach, make sure to shake out every bag, shoe, and towel to remove excess sand. Put any extra sandy items in large plastic bags to protect your upholstery.

Caring for Your Car in the Fall

In most climates across the country, fall is typically a mild time of year. But that doesn’t mean you should let your car maintenance habits fall by the wayside. Keeping your car clean and washed in the fall will help with on-going preservation of your car’s exterior.


Washing your car during the fall will help to keep it clear of fallen leaves. The wetter falling leaves are, the quicker they will decompose, which can potentially harm your paint job. They can also spread mold spores and clog intake vents.


fallen leaves on parked car


One of the most important reasons to care for your car in the fall is so that it’s ready for the harsher winter conditions. Here are some tips to follow for maintaining your car to prepare it for wintry conditions.


  • Get your car washed — 18 percent of car wash visits happen during the fall, meaning lines will be short. Take advantage of this and get your car washed and waxed to protect it from leaves, sap, mud, tar, and bird droppings.
  • Continually clear debris from your car — Make sure to brush leaves, mud, and dirt off your car’s windshield to keep your visibility as high as possible.
  • Check your wipers — Get a replacement if they cannot efficiently wipe grime and water off your windshield.
  • Keep anti-freeze and some cloth on hand — You may see the occasional burst of freezing weather during the fall. Anti-freeze will help you combat the cold.
  • Vacuum out your car — Letting dirt and leaves build up on your car’s floor mats will eventually take its toll. Vacuum and wipe down your car regularly to keep the inside clean and fresh.
  • Take your car in for a general maintenance check — You want to make sure your brake pads, tires, engines, and other vital parts of your car are in optimal shape going into winter. Take your car in to your mechanic and confirm all is well. Take advantage of the milder weather and tune up whatever is necessary before winter.


Give Your Car the Care It Deserves All Year Long

Your car is an investment, so you should treat it like one. Make sure you wash it all year long and maintain it in a way that is appropriate for the season. You can rely on Sundance Carwash for all your car wash and maintenance needs, no matter the time of the year. We’ve been proudly serving customers for over 50 years. We are the place for all your car wash needs.


Smart car washing starts at one of our 5 convenient locations. At Sundance, we offer user-friendly technology to make your experience easy and smooth all while deep cleaning your vehicle. Sundance is committed to recycling all of our wash water and exclusively uses biodegradable soaps and waxes. At Sundance, we are clean and green for you and the environment.


We also offer power vacuums, carpet shampoo machines, carpet fragrance machines, detailing products, and free air machines for your tires.


Ready to commit to a cleaner and better-performing car this year? Join our Monthly Wash Club! It’s a pre-paid service through the Sundance app that allows you to keep your vehicle clean year-round. Learn more and start saving today!



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