You've washed the outside of your truck, but have you done everything you can to eliminate the damaging residue that accumulates during winter driving? If you live where it snows, follow these steps to get the salt out and help protect your auto from rust and other types of winter-related damage.
Time Required: varies
- Wash the exterior of your truck, taking care to thoroughly clean cracks and crevices, wheel wells, and the truck's undercarriage.
- Use matching touch-up paint to repair chips and scratches if necessary.
- Clean the engine compartment after covering all electrical components with plastic.
- Apply a coat of cleaning wax, a type of wax that contains a mild abrasive that will remove the film left by salt and other substances.
- Check tires for cuts and abrasions. Replace tires if necessary.
- Lube all suspension fittings. Lube hood hinges, door hinges, locks, and latches. Check your owner's manual for lubricant recommendations.
- Inspect your brakes to make sure there's plenty of material on brake pads and shoes. Look for components that are rusted or stuck due to salt corrosion.
- Inspect your windshield wiper blades, since ice and snow are hard on them.
- Thoroughly vacuum the truck's interior. Use carpet shampoo to remove ground-in salt and dirt. Scrub the top and bottoms of floor mats and air-dry.
- Don't touch the truck with a wash mitt until you've used a hose to remove visible grit.
- If your truck has wheel covers, remove them before washing to make it easier to clean the wheels and the back side of covers.
- If you use Rain-X or a similar product on your windshield, apply a fresh coat when you're finished.
- If you have a drop-in bedliner, remove it before you wash the truck. Clean the liner thoroughly before placing it back in the truck bed.
- A "touchless" type of car wash, a wash that does not touch the auto with brushes, is a good alternative if you don't have a place to wash the truck by hand. Be sure to add the options to clean the wheels and undercarriage, since that's where lots of salt residue builds up.
What You Need
- favorite car wash soap
- cleaning wax
- wash mitt
- bucket / hose
- window cleaner