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Are Car Washes Open In Winter?

Are Car Washes Open In Winter?

Your car’s looking grimy and you don’t want to make the effort yourself. That’s fine and all, but is the local car wash open? 

Winter’s finally here, and that might mean that you won’t have any luck searching around for car washes that might accommodate you. 

Are car washes open in the winter?

Car washes are generally open in winter unless there are extreme weather conditions. Car washes usually only close in winter during heavy precipitation or extremely cold temperatures. Extreme winter conditions make it difficult for cash washing equipment to work, and covering your car with water when it’s freezing outside may result in an icy vehicle.

This article will tell you about the different conditions that are too harsh for car washes, when you should go for a car wash, and whether you should get your car washed in the winter. 

So, make sure to read this article to the end so you don’t end up going to the car wash at the wrong time and wasting your time!

Do car washes work in the winter?

Contrary to what you might think, car washes are the most active in the winters! This is because, during the winter, snow begins to accumulate on roads and avenues. 

The authorities always make an effort to lay down salt on roads in order to melt the ice and snow.

This salt accumulates on the bottom of your car and is extremely harmful to the paint and metal of the chassis since it can easily stick to your car and is extremely caustic and difficult to remove.

That’s why most car washes are open in the winter since many drivers prefer going to them instead of trying to remove the icy slush themselves.

The only time you might find a car wash closed is if it’s raining or snowing heavily, or the temperature is well below freezing. 

Even then, some car washes still remain open in extreme cold as they have heated buildings and special heaters for their equipment.

Winter Car Wash Precautions

The main precaution that should be taken is the condition of your car. Older cars are more prone to having their locks frozen or having trouble starting.

The condition of your windows can also be cause for concern since cold weather can further damage windows that are cracked or chipped. 

Extremely cold weather can add stress to a cracked or chipped windshield, which may cause the crack to spread.

Are automatic car washes closed too?

Just like normal car washes, automatic car washes will usually remain open unless it’s extremely cold or there is heavy rain or snow.

It all depends on the staff that runs the carwash. Some close down since their equipment doesn’t work that well in extremely cold weather, whereas others stay open during temperatures that are well below freezing.

Even self-care washes have garage doors that are closed once the car is in, in order to keep the equipment warm and running. 

So most likely, you won’t have any problems with automatic car washes being closed during the winter.

Is it bad to get a car wash in the winter?

Absolutely not! Unless your car is extremely old, with cracked windows, there is absolutely no issue in you getting a car wash. 

It’s actually a good practice to have your car washed once a week or once every two weeks in order to maintain the look and longevity of your vehicle.

During winter, it is advised to not let the mixture of salt and ice stick to your vehicle for long since that can lead to rust and degradation of the car’s paint.

How do I avoid dirt and salt?

Always remember to give your car a waxing before the winter season starts.

A good layer of wax will always help against road salt and maintain the look of your vehicle. 

You’ll need to wash your car thoroughly before applying the wax, otherwise, the whole process might get messed up with unwanted dirt.

After your car is waxed, make sure to give it a wash weekly or biweekly. This is done to preserve the car’s cleanliness. 

Make sure to get the undercarriage cleaned as well, since that’s the place that is most vulnerable to salt and brine that is found on roads during the winter.

The brine and slush can easily freeze in crevices under the car, so it’s better to have the car washed from underneath as well. 

Different car washes offer deep cleaning, along with undercarriage cleaning as well, so make sure you avail that as well.

Protecting the interior

Even though the exterior may be maintained, it’s important to keep the interior of the car clear from dirt and snow as well.

Try to get some good floor mats, preferably rubber, that will prevent any sludge from your shoes from getting onto the floor of the car.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it! To answer your question, most car washes remain open throughout the winter season, and the only reason they’d be closed is if the temperature is at a record-breaking low, or if there’s heavy rain or snow. 

Because who would want to get a car wash during rain? That’s just a waste of money.

Always make sure to protect the interior as well as the exterior of your car, and get floor mats to preserve the interior of the car as well. 

Bi-weekly washes will help preserve any waxing you’ve had done to your car as well.

If you plan to move to warmer climates during the winter, make sure to give your cars a good cleaning, waxing, and definitely have them parked inside your garage if you have one.

This way, you can be sure to arrive back to a car that’s sparkling clean, and ready for use!

Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! Having owned a wide variety of vehicles in my life, I was astounded at how hard it can be to find answers to common automotive questions. Rather than sit idly, I decided to create this website to help others!