When it comes to washing our precious Chevrolets, some people prefer to take their vehicles to a professional or automatic car wash while others prefer to do it themselves. I personally like to do both. It all just depends on how much time I have. For those of you who have the time and take pride in washing your vehicle, are you sure you’re doing it the proper way? That’s right, DFW. There is actually a proper way to wash your Chevy. Don’t worry, I’ll gladly break it down for you.
For the exterior, you’ll need a soap specially formulated for cars and a sponge or wool mit. Never use dishwashing soap on your Chevy or any other vehicle for that matter. It can strip the wax protection and cause water spotting. Once you have your materials and you’ve found a good spot (in the shade), go ahead and get the entire vehicle wet.
Start at the top with a lot of suds to help float away the dirt on of the vehicle and then move to the sides finishing at the bottom. Be sure to pay attention to the glass and trim and make continuous movements so you don’t miss a spot. Once you’ve finished with a section, go ahead and rinse the area from top to bottom. You’ll also want to rinse the sponge out before moving on to a new section. When you finish washing the exterior, use a water blade or soft towel for drying.
Let’s start with the instrument panel. You’ll need a clean, damp white cotton cloth. This also works well for the interior trim. Once you’ve wiped everything down, use a dry white cloth for drying. What you don’t want to use is household glass or all-purpose cleaners. Use a vacuum for the dust and loose dirt on the fabric, carpets, cloth seats and safety belts. If you have any light stains, be sure to use an auto-specific carpet and upholstery cleaner.
If you have leather seats, use a soft, damp cloth to wipe them down. If you’re in the mood for a deep cleaning, wipe the surface with a mild soap/water mix and then dry with a soft cloth. Do you have leather seats? For routine cleaning, wipe the surface with a soft, damp cloth. To be safe, I’d recommend using cleaning products specifically for leather.
Back in high school, my friends and I enjoyed taking our SUVs and trucks mudding. As you can imagine, our cars would get pretty dirty and we’d always stop off at the do-it-yourself car wash with the power washer. We’d spray that thing everywhere including in the engine compartment. This was great for getting the mud off the exterior, but what I didn’t know at the time was how bad it was for the engine. High-pressure fluid can penetrate sealed parts and cause damage. So don’t ever use a power washer under the hood. Another thing… don’t ever spray a hot engine with cold water. This can actually crack the engine block or other components.
Now that you know what not to do, here’s what you should do. Go out and buy a specially formulated engine shampoo and degreaser. Make sure you cover the battery and filters and don’t run the engine while cleaning. Also avoid washign the ignition coil, spark plug wires and spark plug well. For specific details, refer to your owners manual to be safe.
So there you have it, DFW. The proper way to wash your Chevrolet. If you’ve got the time, head outside and take pride in cleaning that beautiful car or truck.
Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.