Turns out, washing your car isn’t just good for impressing your date. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published the results of a study concerning vehicles manufactured before 2007 that operate in cold-weather states.
Road salt can cause corrosion that could possibly lead to brake failure. The NHTSA’s recommendation? “Wash your car thoroughly at the end of the winter,” as well as being sure to wash it “throughout the winter.”
The first recommendation isn’t likely an issue. Most people feel compelled to wash their vehicle at winter’s end. But throughout the winter? Sounds like maybe the NHTSA might be getting a kickback from those automatic car wash joints out there, because who’s going to wash their own car outside in the winter? Corruption notwithstanding, an automatic car wash should suffice.
When it comes to washing your car at the end of winter, consider buying or renting a powerwasher. Jack your vehicle up, place on jackstands, and try to get the undercarriage as well. That should really prevent winter corrosion, the (obvious) evil the NHTSA is warning us about.