Washing the vehicle
The longer substances like insects, bird droppings, resinous tree sap, road dirt, industrial deposits, tar, soot or road salt and other aggressive materials remain on the vehicle, the more damage they do to the paintwork. High temperatures (for instance in strong sunlight) further intensify the corrosive effect.
After the period when salt is put on the roads it is important to have the underside of the vehicle washed thoroughly.
Automatic car washes
Before going through a car wash, be sure to take the usual precautions such as closing the windows and sunroof. If the vehicle has special accessories such as spoilers or a roof carrier or two-way radio aerial, etc., it is advisable to consult the car wash operator.
It is best to use a car wash without revolving bristles if possible.
Washing your car with a high-pressure cleaner
When cleaning the vehicle with a high-pressure cleaner, always follow the operating instructions for the equipment. This applies particularly to the operating pressure and the spraying distance. Do not hold the spray nozzle too close to soft materials, such as rubber hoses or seals.
Do not use a nozzle that sprays the water out in a direct stream or one that has a rotating jet for forcing off dirt.
Washing the car by hand
When washing the car by hand, use plenty of water to soften the dirt first, and rinse off as well as possible.
Then clean the vehicle with a soft sponge, glove or brush, using only slight pressure. You should start on the roof and work down. Special car shampoo should only be used for very persistent dirt.
Rinse the sponge or glove thoroughly and often.
Wheels, sills and similar should be cleaned last. Use a second sponge for this.
- • Do not wash the vehicle with the ignition switched on – risk of accident.
- • Do not clean the underside of the car or inside the wheel arches without protecting your hands and arms. You may cut yourself on sharp metal parts.
- • Take care when washing the car during the winter: moisture and ice on the brakes may affect braking efficiency – this could cause an accident.
- • Do not wash the vehicle in direct sunlight – otherwise the paint can be damaged.
- • Do not use insect sponges or abrasive household sponges, etc. – they can damage the surfaces.
- • The headlights should only be washed with water – do not wipe them with a dry cloth or sponge. It is best to use soapy water.
- • Never wash tyres with a jet that sprays the water out in a direct stream. This could damage the tyres – even if the spray is kept at a distance and only used for a very short time.
For the sake of the environment
The car should only be washed in special wash bays. This prevents oily water from getting into the public drains. In some districts, washing vehicles anywhere else may be prohibited.